Syracuse students agree: Basketball > Hockey.
The Orange of Syracuse have made the trip back to "Boston" to take on the Eagles in an ACC Conference game. This game, if you recall, was a conference game in the Big East way back when. I may still grimace if someone mentions Troy Bell. But this game has lost some meaning in the several years we didn't play BC in conference play, and for the most part BC/SU was more of a rivalry on the gridiron. However, in a new conference without much to grab on to in terms of rivalries for basketball other than the obvious, BC will definitely do for this blogger.
Syracuse enters this game atop the ACC standings and still has an unblemished record on the 2013-2014 campaign. Boston College... well they are not having a good go of it so far. They are 1-2 in the ACC and 5-11 overall, losing seven of the last ten. Not good for a team that only about ten years ago was in the top ten. But that was a conference and a head coach and a golden age ago. BC now looks like a bottom barrel program with an RPI (I know, stupid people math, but still...) in the high hundreds. Students and locals don't even come out to games, not even achieving 6k in an arena that only holds 8,606 for basketball. They are lucky if they fill half capacity for a basketball game in Chestnut Hill. But the place will be packed tonight with a fair amount of Syracuse fans. While not the biggest alumni area, the greater Boston area has a TON of Orange alums and fans. The place will be full of them, hoping to see the #2 Orange take BC to the woodshed. And they probably will. BC averages 70.8ppg, while allowing 75.2. Contrast that with Syracuse that only allows 58.4ppg and scoring 73ppg and you see why BC is not looking good on paper to win this game. About the only shots BC is likely to make from the floor are free throws. They are not a great three point threat, only scoring 32.7% from behind the arc, and they don't rebound the ball particularly well. They have lost to the likes of Harvard, Clemson, Providence, and Toledo. I'm not saying they won't hang around in the first half of this game, but the second half should be all Orange. With a pro-SU crowd, only a few students on hand, and a team that is begging for improvement on both offense and defense, this spells an Orange route by all accounts. Look for Orange::44 favorite Eddie Odio, the Nate Lubick of BC, to make some terrible choices when handling the ball. I once saw him get hit in the face and the foul was called on him. And it was a good call. That tells you the kind of talent that kid possesses. Either way, if Syracuse rebounds the ball and doesn't allow BC easy put back points, this game will be over quickly. If not, Syracuse will allow BC to hang around and the crowd might start to believe. But you have to think that Trevor Cooney will bounce back from his not so great game against UNC and hit a couple big shots to make up for his last game. I like Syracuse to roll in this one. I'll take the Orange by 22.
This game is available nation wide on ESPN U / Watch ESPN at 9:00pm. Even though I live close, I'll be in the home office watching this one, and John will be at his, so feel free to hit is up on the Twitter. And rest assured we'll be singing the BC "Fight Song" if/when they lose. For Boston...