Monday, February 21, 2005

Court rushing, calls and 'Cuse

Saturday’s home win went a long way towards building BC’s respect. With a national audience and an excited crowd watching, the Eagles beat No. 9 Syracuse 65-60.’s Pat Forde had a nice write up. There was a lot to say about the game and in his lead he mentioned the fans and gripes about the refs. I have to defend my alma mater on these little critiques.

While generally I think storming the court is overdone, I’ll give the Superfans a pass on this one. Our home schedule has been dull this season and this was the first meeting of two top ten teams in the building’s history. And even though we were ranked higher, our fans and players still brought an underdog mentality to the game. All those factors combined with the gutsy style of play and the ability to deal with some questionable calls exploded into an on-court celebration. The players liked it and it will probably be the only time this season, so I say let the kids have fun. BC fans are usually criticized for their lack of emotion, so this was a refreshing change.

As for the questionable calls…fellow blogger, the Evil A, predicted before the game that the “refs would not allow us to win the game.” While I don’t think there was an out and out conspiracy, I do think BC’s position in the league and Al’s demeanor sometimes leads to Boeheim and Calhoun getting calls. The calls were so questionable in this game (lowlights included, two technicals, a made basket on a Syracuse charge and numerous no calls while our post players got murdered) that even Len Elmore said the refs were having an off night. Fortunately it seemed to rally the players. If this lopsided officiating continues, winning the Big East Tournament would be nearly impossible.

Final thought on Syracuse (whom we might see again in the tournament). Funny team. I think they have a lot of talent -- Gerry McNamara and Warrick both worried me -– but they seemed flat the whole night and didn’t seem to play with much urgency. Even as they chipped away at the lead towards the end of the game, they seemed somewhat uninterested. Where was the relentless, confident team that stole games from Rutgers and Notre Dame? They have talent, but can they regroup before March?

With many of the top teams losing this past week, BC will probably move up in the polls. They also remain in contention for a No. 1 seed in the tournament.

The next challenge is Villanova on Wednesday. Check back in for a preview later this week.

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