On Wednesday, ESPN announced that the Boston College men's basketball team will be part of the eight-team field for the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, held November 20-23 in San Juan. The Eagles will be joined by College of Charleston, Connecticut, Dayton, George Mason, New Mexico, Texas A&M and West Virginia.
The 2014 Puerto Rico Tip-Off marks the second straight year that Boston College and Connecticut will be paired together in one of these early-season, exempt tournaments. The two long-time foes meet on Thursday at Madison Square Garden as part of the 2K Sports Classic.
I actually think we'll see BC and UConn following one another around in these tournaments more often in the future. It's an easy way of rekindling a lost Big East series without either team giving up a non-conference home game. If I were a betting man, I'd imagine BC and UConn will be put on a collision course in this tournament as well. Maybe not in the first round, but certainly on the same side of the bracket for a potential second-day matchup.
Boston College last played on the island during the 1999-00 season as part of the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic. The Eagles fell to Tulsa 80-66 before rebounding to top Illinois-Chicago 67-62 and Massachusetts 83-59.
Connecticut is the most familiar opponent in the eight-team field (35-54 in 89 all-time meetings), but BC also has limited history against West Virginia during the Mountaineers brief stint in the Big East for basketball (8-8 in 16 meetings). Strangely enough, BC has followed Charleston, Dayton, New Mexico and Texas A&M around in these early-season exempt tournaments over the past few years. In the only ever meeting between the two schools, BC lost to Charleston and Dayton last season in the Charleston Classic, fell to New Mexico the year before in the 76 Classic and defeated Texas A&M in the 2010 Old Spice Classic. BC and George Mason have yet to face one another.