In uniforms that would have made David Bowie grin from ear-to-ear, No.1 Syracuse fell to Atlantic Coast Conference rival Boston College 62-59 in overtime at the Carrier Dome on Wednesday night.
Guilty of raiding the same storage facility hiding 1979 Vancouver Canucks sweaters, Syracuse further tortured their fans by playing on par with the aesthetic embarrassment they chose for attire.
(Rich Barnes/Getty Images)
Leading by 8 points at halftime, and as many as 13 in the second half, Syracuse watched as the Eagles from Chestnut Hill mounted a comeback that I still haven’t wrapped my head around.
An offense that scored just 17 points in the games opening 20 minutes, Boston College found its stride in the second half. Sophomore guard Olivier Hanlan led the charge, scoring 20 points on 6-14 shooting, including a game-tying layup in the final seconds of regulation.
Hanlan and fellow sophomore guard Joe Rahon each connected on 3 triples, leading an Eagles team that finished 11-22 from deep. Junior Ryan Anderson grabbed 14 rebounds and fellow classmen Lonnie Jackson hit 4 free throws in the final minute of overtime to give the Eagles just their third win over a Division-I team since November.
The win snapped BC’s 5 game losing streak and hopefully knocked some sense into a Syracuse fanbase that began selling “We Beat Duke!” t-shirts after the Orange defeated then No. 19 Duke at the Carrier Dome. I’d make some smartass remark about selling such t-shirts, but I attend a university whose football program’s biggest accomplishment is losing 48-20 to Oklahoma in the 2011 Fiesta Bowl. Different sports, sure, but the level of stupidity is parallel.
Improving to 3-10 in ACC play, Boston College and head coach Steve Donahue earn a win that will hopefully create some momentum in an otherwise disappointing season. With an early season matchup at TD Garden against upstart UMass, and a November date with UConn at Madison Square Garden, preseason buzz surrounding a young Boston College team was high. However, following an 0-3 start, including a 95-92 loss to MAC powerhouse Toledo, the bandwagon appeared to hit a boulder, burst into flames and veer into a tornado.
There was brief hope that our Boston-bound wagon could be patched up after a win over PAC-10 property Washington, but an unconvincing overtime victory over Sacred Heart and a streak of 7 losses in 8 games signaled the end to any fanbase reclamation projects.
Though highly unlikely to matter when tournament time rolls around, tonight’s win allows some breathing room for a coach on the hot seat, Donahue, and a group of players who were synonymous with underachieving.
For Syracuse, their loss creates an opportunity to grow before they eventually fall apart in March. I’m not trying to insult them, it’s just a trend that has become a staple for northern New York’s most successful basketball program.
Squeaking out wins against No. 25 Pittsburgh and unranked NC State by a combined 3 points, the Orange have had warning signs about possible chinks in their seemingly perfect armor. Hey, maybe they could turn that into a t-shirt – “We Have A Chink In The Armor! Trust Me, We Lost To A Team That’s 7-19!” Their marketing guy or gal will probably come up with something better, but I’m pretty content with what I just submitted. I’d wear that t-shirt. Sorry if I’m getting sidetracked, it’s been a long day.
With Syracuse’s loss, No. 3 Wichita State (27-0) stands alone as college basketball’s lone unbeaten team. Wichita State, or “They got corn there?” as they’re known to thousands of drunks at sports bars across the country, faces pushovers Drake and Bradley before concluding their season at home against gritty Missouri State (17-10, 7-8 MVC) at home. The games against Bradley and Missouri State will be televised on ESPN2, and I think that’s pretty cool.
Syracuse will look to bounce back from this horror show of a performance on Saturday as they travel to Durham for a date with Mike Krzyzewski and the No.5 Duke Blue Devils. Boston travels to Coral Gables, Florida on Saturday for a matinee showdown with a Miami Hurricanes team that has kept itself in check and refrained from committing any NCAA violations.