For the eighth time in the last 10 seasons, Boston College enters the conference tournament season with a shot at college basketball's postseason. BC have converted its performances in the Big East / ACC Tournament into NCAA Tournament berths six of those seven opportunities.
BC's current resume -- 19-11 (9-7 ACC) -- looks really similar to its regular season resume in the 2009 (21-10), 2007 (19-10), 2003 (17-10) and 2002 (16-10) seasons. The Eagles made it to the Dance in '02, '07 and '09, and got the shaft in 2003, given an NIT invite as a partying gift.
Though most bracketologists have BC safely in the field of 68, all agree the Eagles still have some work to do in the ACC Tournament. Should the Eagles stumble in their quarterfinal game against the Deacons, it's all but certain that BC would miss the Dance and end up hosting a game in the NIT. Beat Wake, and its a Bubble showdown on Friday against Clemson.
If the Eagles lose to Clemson, it is going to be one very, very stressful Selection Sunday for Superfans. With a weak bubble and no real bid stealers to date (knock wood), BC might sneak is as one of the final teams in the field of 68. But they could just as easily be left out, especially with the Eagles' sterling resume numbers (SOS, RPI) likely to take a hit for playing Wake Forest. With a win over Clemson, on the other hand, BC could conceivably jump to a 9 or 10 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
So what about three wins in the ACC Tournament? Where would that leave BC?
If BC beats Wake Forest, then Clemson, then the North Carolina / Virginia / Miami winner to advance to the ACC Championship, how high a seed could BC nab? A win over a possible NCAA Tournament 1 seed (North Carolina) would easily boost BC's SOS and RPI numbers back to pre-Wake Forest ACC Tournament game levels. The Eagles would also finish 7-3 in their last 10, which would help to mask BC's mediocre 9-8 regular season record in 2011. Might BC nab an 8-9 seed in the Tournament if they advance to the ACC Championship? Maybe even higher? Doesn't seem beyond the realm of possibility.
Should Boston College become the first team to win four games in four days and earn the ACC's auto bid, who knows? The Eagles might even find themselves on the 7 line in one of those tricky 7 vs. 10 matchups. We'd probably also be the lowest seeded ACC Champion in NCAA Tournament history, which I'm sure we'd get a bit of flak for ... but I suppose that's a good problem to have. Plus, if any team was built to get hot and shoot lights out in four straight games, it's Donahue's Eagles.
Boston College Most Likely Seed: No. 11
With loss to Wake Forest in ACC First Round: N.I.T.
With loss to Clemson in the ACC Quarterfinals: Last Four In or First Four Out
With loss in ACC Semifinals: No. 9-10
With loss in ACC Championship: No. 8-9
With ACC Championship: No. 7-8