Sunday, March 11, 2007

We're In

BC got the predictable 7 seed in the NCAA tourney, which is realistically all we could ask for. That means the Selection Committee ranked the Eagles between 25-28 among the field. Not bad given the tailspin to close the season, and a testament to the respect afforded the conference.

But the real good news is that we got the right matchup, in the right region, at the right site. All I really wanted was a flawed team from a big conference, and Texas Tech fits the billl perfectly. BC will not take them lightly given their Big 12 status (and victories over Kansas and Texas A&M), but the Red Raiders are not that good, as evidenced by a 5 game losing streak last month and losses to the likes of Baylor and Nebraska. A more dangerous opponent would have been some rock solid mid major on the rise, like Virginia Commonwealth, Creighton or Old Dominion. The added bonus is that we get to play in the East Regional a short flight away in a city the Eagles know well, Winston-Salem. I like playing on Thursday too, before the players get too caught up in all the hoop-la. A good day across the board.

I expect BC to beat Texas Tech and then give a good fight against Georgetown. The Hoyas are a very good team, but probably the caliber of Virginia Tech or Maryland. In other words, BC is battle-tested for this matchup, assuming both teams make it to the second round. And if BC manages to get past GTown and make it to the Sweet Sixteen, it will be a fantastic accomplishment for BC in one of the weirdest years in memory.

I did not blog after the BC-UNC game mostly for family reasons, but there really wasn't much to say. I didn't give the Eagles much of a chance coming into the game, and they showed me why. When BC plays an elite team, they need big games from at least two of their three big scorers, and probably all three. They also need step-up games from their role players. BC only got production out of maligned Sean Marshall (and only with scoring). The Tar Heels did a great job on Ty Rice, Dudley had an off day (despite 20, mostly late points), and the Blair-Spears-Oates-Roche group brought very little to the table. That's just not gonna do it, especially against a team as good as UNC. I really would have loved to see how BC could have fared with Sean Williams and Akida McLean patrolling the paint...

If memory serves, BC has beaten Bobby Knight teams two times in a row, first during the famed 1994 run to the Elite Eight (77-68), and next in the opening round of the 1996 tournament (54-51).

Looking forward to Thursday.

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