Wednesday, April 13, 2011

We shouldn't duck Harvard

As reported by numerous sources, BC will not be playing Harvard in basketball next season. While this is not a big deal in the whole scheme of BC's basketball scheduling, I still think it is a mistake.


The rationalizations for taking Harvard off the schedule for a season or two are pretty straight forward. We don't benefit in our RPI. We have a chance to play other schools. Despite the proximity to one another, the game doesn't generate ticket sales. Oh, and they beat us two years in a row. This thinking is very similar to the reasons BC took Holy Cross off of our basketball schedule a few years ago.


Like removing Holy Cross from the schedule, no one will really care. BC has plenty of good teams on its slate and will play in a solid tournament. But the philosophy of tweaking the schedule when things don't go exactly as planned feels cowardly or at the very least bratty. We can't play Harvard or Holy Cross, or even BU in football. Having them and any other local school on our hoops schedule is a win-win regardless of the actual outcome. It is a chance to interact with other universities in the area. In most years we will win those games. The travel costs are minimal. We build a local base (more so than a random bottom dweller that might replace them). If we can't beat Harvard 9 out of 10 years we have bigger problems than scheduling an Ivy.


Many feel that our loss to Harvard punished us come selection time. I don't buy it. We loss to Yale. We had some ugly games down the stretch. We also had a loss to URI. The tourney resume was cumulative and always will be. So playing Harvard and the like is a not a lose-lose. It is a no brainer. I hope the common sense comes around and we see the Crimson again in 2012-2013.

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17 Comments:

At 2:12 AM, Blogger Matt said...

I agree with you, but correction: we lost to Harvard THREE years in a row.

 
At 9:17 AM, Blogger Erik said...

Yes, 3 years in a row.
I like playing the local schools.
I know the Holy Cross people cared when we didn't play, maybe not the BC people.

Simple solution for the Harvard loss hurting us come Selection Sunday: WIN THE STUPID GAME!
Cripes.

Generally speaking, if we want to schedule bigger names and remove smaller programs from our schedule, I think that is great. But keep BU, Harvard, Holy Cross, Northeastern, UMass and get rid of the Stoneybrooks, South Carolina Upstate, St Francis, Long Island U types. (We did much better this year getting interesting games than Skinner era).

 
At 9:47 AM, Blogger CEW said...

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At 9:49 AM, Blogger CEW said...

It may only be a few, but there are people who care that BC doesn't play Holy Cross anymore. BC should be more talented and better coached than Harvard and Holy Cross and should play them. BC should also beat both teams handily.

I have to agree with Erik. The problem is not scheduling them. The problem is having enough talent to beat the eventual national champion but then lose the next game to Harvard.

 
At 9:55 AM, Blogger Tom said...

http://www.barstoolu.com/#random-thoughts/uf-hoops-players-live-from-the-back-of-a-cop-car/

who else is glad erik murphy didnt end up on campus now?

 
At 9:58 AM, Blogger EaglesBro said...

seriously? none of you have ever heard of sos or rpi?

losses to harvard don't hurt as much as PLAYING harvard does.

 
At 10:36 AM, Blogger Tom said...

You realize Harvard's final RPI this year was 37...

Yeah we should've won, but Harvard was not a BAD loss. Yale, on the other hand, was a terrible loss.

 
At 10:39 AM, Blogger Tom said...

A win over Harvard would've been considered one of our best wins last year because their RPI was so high.

 
At 10:45 AM, Blogger Tom said...

Do I think we should've won the game? Of course, but to say that playing Harvard is going to hurt our SOS or RPI is ridiculous - they helped our SOS and RPI last year tremendously.

 
At 10:47 AM, Blogger Bravesbill said...

Tom, that's not the norm though. Usually playing Harvard means a big drop in both SOS and RPI, even if we win the game. We gain nothing in winning the game. BC was expected to win and it did. Great. When BC loses the game it is expected to win though, the game hurts them even more in SOS and RPI. Plus, it's usually held against them come postseason time. There is nothing to gain and everything to lose playing Harvard (and Holy Cross for that matter).

 
At 11:43 AM, Blogger Fran said...

Harvard will pretty much return the same team (and their coach after he rejected Miami) next year. I expect them to be the same, if not better, than last year's squad. Playing Harvard would have only helped BC's SOS and RPI. Harvard got a bigger snub when it came to the tournament than BC did this past year.

 
At 11:56 AM, Blogger Patrick said...

Harvard returns all 8 members of its rotation. They're adding an additional 4 decent recruits (Amaker overrecruits because there aren't scholarships in the Ivy league and then boots kids from the team who don't cut it after their Soph or Junior years).

They went toe to toe all year with a very good Princeton team --- the same Princeton team that should have beaten Kentucky in the tournament. They manhandled us last year, and they killed Colorado too.

They will be a top-25 team by the end of next year, and will be the best Ivy League team since Donahue's Cornell team. It doesn't help BC to get blown out by 40 points at home to Harvard --- and that's what'd happen next year with our 4-frosh starting lineup. Nobody will notice that we ducked them except us. Recruits and the entire Boston press would have noticed when we got embarassed. I'm glad that's not going to happen.

 
At 1:57 PM, Blogger Calvin said...

ATL, I agree with you that it feels cowardly and seems "convenient" to take the Harvard game off the schedule. But like Patrick pointed out, no one besides Harvard will notice this. Let's move on - hopefully with Reggie - and pick up a couple of resume wins in the 76 Classic.

 
At 2:54 PM, Blogger CT said...

I agree that it's poor form to take Harvard off the schedule. Local universities should encourage rivalries when they can, especially in the northeast basketball corridor since BC is the only big boy football school around. This is one instance when I think SOS should take a backseat to fostering what has pretty quickly become a toss-up game. I think it also helps that the Ivy champion/2nd is fairly well respected nationwide. I agree with Patrick that Harvard next year should be pretty good, but I disagree that we shouldn't take on the challenge. The best way for a young team to get good quickly is to see how a less athletic, below-the-rim team can impress.

 
At 3:13 PM, Blogger bischoje said...

I agree. Let's play local schools, especially ones that give us a good challenge like Harvard.

 
At 12:13 AM, Blogger Walter said...

I agree with Patrick and others who said this is not a big deal.

Let's be real. Playing Harvard isn't doing anything to increase BC's reputation in basketball within the Boston community. That's not going to be the thing that keeps our water cooler talk going.

We play in the ACC, consistently one of the toughest conferences to play in. We can afford playing another cupcake game that isn't Harvard.

We play Harvard enough in hockey, which is a more consistent sport at our school than basketball anyway.

 
At 9:54 AM, Blogger moon_90210 said...

BC is hosting the Sweet 16 at the Garden next year, right? I'm a season ticket holder and have not gotten any news about getting first crack at tickets. Anyone know anything?

 

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