Let's get this overwith and dispense with the links previewing tonight's sure-to-be-thrilling tilt between the Syracuse Orange and the Boston College fighting shootyhoopers, fresh off a big win on Saturday and rarin' to go. I'm sure tonight will be very exciting at Conte Forum, with the building not at all featuring 60% Syracuse fans and with BC rising to the occasion to at least put a scare into the #2 team in all of the shootyhoop kingdom. I also know that at the very least, there won't be a sighting of that creepy orange guy. And we definitely won't hear any of the various DJs and stringers and Sean McDonoughs and what-have-you in the Boston sports media world who went to Syracuse talking about it all day Tuesday, that's for sure.
In what's likely a dismaying development for the rest of the ACC, Syracuse has turned into one of the best defensive teams in the country in the past two weeks. The second-ranked Orange will try to remain stingy and improve to 17-0 Monday night as they hit the road to take on Boston College.
BC, which is in its fourth season under former Cornell University coach Steve Donahue, is 5-11. The Eagles are 1-2 in the ACC, which they joined after sharing the Big East regular-season crown in 2004-05, their final season in the league. They're coming off Saturday's 62-59 win at Virginia Tech, where SU won by 20 points last week.
No. 2/2 Syracuse puts its 16-game winning streak on the line when it takes on Boston College in Conte Forum on Monday, Jan. 13. Tipoff is set for 9 p.m. The game will be televised on ESPNU and ESPN3. Fans can listen to the action on the Syracuse IMG Radio Network and its flagship TK99 (99.5 FM). Live audio will be available on Orange All Access on SUathletics.com. Subscriptions to Orange All Access are available at daily, monthly and yearly rates.
BC-SYRACUSE MEET FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 2005 • Boston College will host #2/2 Syracuse on Monday night at 9 p.m. in Conte Forum. • It marks the first time BC and Syracuse will meet as ACC opponents. The programs have not met since 2005.
With that out of the way...
It was a pretty mixed bag yesterday in the wide world of sports, watching from a BC perspective. The Carolina Panthers lost in the NFC divisional playoffs, ending what's been a great season for Luke Kuechly. But, he turned in another great performance and received round praise. I was fortunate enough to be at the women's hockey game at Matthews Arena, which BC won 3-2. The women's basketball team, on the otherhand, got stuffed again by a top-3 foe, losing at Cameron Indoor Arena to Duke, 78-57. After playing Notre Dame and Duke, the only way their schedule could get any tougher this week is by playing UConn, and, well, thank God that's not happening.
Second-year linebacker Luke Kuechly, who led the Panthers with 156 tackles and added 10 more Sunday, remains a legitimate Defensive Player of the Year candidate. And Rivera and defensive coordinator Sean McDermott's second-ranked scoring defense led the league with 60 sacks.
Kat Cooper scored 21 points to lead Boston College (10-7, 1-2). Katie Zenevitch added 10 points for the Eagles. The Eagles scored on the first possession of the second half to cut Duke's lead to 43-32, but the Blue Devils answered with an 8-0 spurt.
Short-handed by foul trouble and injury, No. 3 Duke showcased its impressive depth. Reserve Richa Jackson scored a season-high 17 points to help the Blue Devils beat Boston College 78-57 on Sunday.
Meagan Mangene scored the game winning goal and fellow co-captain Corinne Boyles stopped 32 shots to help No. 7 Boston College come back from a 2-goal deficit and defeat Northeastern, 3-2 at Matthews Arena Sunday afternoon.
Lo and behold, there's some football news breaking:
Roxbury Latin coach Patrick Ross confirmed to the Boston Herald that the 6-foot-3, 207-pound quarterback has decided to withdraw from the Heights. Lowrie was recruited to Boston College by former head coach Frank Spaziani after a standout career at Roxbury Latin, but sources close to the scene told the Herald that Lowrie didn't fit in the plans under the new regime at BC.
He was the best high school football player Western Massachusetts never had. Now, he's the best receiver Boston College ever had. Although Alex Amidon was born in London, he moved to Greenfield with his family when he was 8. As a youngster, he gravitated toward both football and track. He possessed a strong arm and soft hands that would aid him on the gridiron and the kind of speed that would separate him from the competition in both arenas.
No one saw what was coming, though - no one could have foreseen a two-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference football player growing up in the shadow of Poet's Seat Tower.
This next one might cause some consternation, but here we go...
The winningest coach in Boston College basketball history was out of the game for nearly three solid years. He managed to keep himself busy. Every so often, he'd pop up at someone's practice. He'd check in on Ed Cooley's team down in Providence or Bill Coen's team at Northeastern. Doc Rivers - and later Brad Stevens - brought him in to peek at the Celtics. They all welcomed his help, and didn't understand why he didn't have a program of his own.
And finally, some hockey news:
The University of Massachusetts hockey team got a taste Sunday of what Frank Vatrano could bring to the offense. Vatrano, who is ineligible to compete for the Minutemen until the postseason after transferring from Boston College, had a goal and an assist as UMass beat the US Under-18 national team 5-2 in an exhibition at the Mullins Center.
Vatrano's saga has been an odd one; I'm keeping my eye on his career and rooting for him to succeed, as long as it doesn't come at BC's expense.
In other hockey news, Minnesota edged Penn State 3-2 for the second straight night at Pegula Arena. It was an impressive set of one-goal losses for Penn State in B1G hockey play. BC will travel to State College in two weeks to face the Nittany Lions.
Whoa, lots of news today. tl;dr