UConn basketball coach Kevin Ollie, who played for the Huskies from 1991-1995, told the Greenwich Time's William Paxton that he'd welcome the return of the Boston College-Connecticut rivalry on the hardwood.
"It's a great team right in our region here and we had a lot of wars in the Big East," UConn coach Kevin Ollie said during Monday's conference call. "I remember a lot of them when I played at the University of Connecticut. We'd like to rekindle that rivalry again."
We always had some tough battles. I love the challenge Boston College presents each and every game. It's going to be another war."
This is a bit of a departure from comments Ollie's predecessor and former coach Jim Calhoun made following Boston College's departure from the Big East to the ACC. At Big East Media Day in October 2003, Calhoun, then UConn's head coach, vowed never to play Boston College again.
"We won't play BC after they leave (the Big East). I will not play Boston College as long as I'm here."
Of course, Calhoun is no longer the coach in Storrs and the Huskies are no longer a member of the Big East. Neither are Syracuse, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Notre Dame and Louisville for that matter; all of which followed BC's lead out of the conference. However, it appears Calhoun has softened his stance a bit ahead of Thursday's meeting between BC and UConn at Madison Square Garden, and would like to see the rivalry continued outside this week's one-off meeting in the 2K Sports Classic.
"Rivalries are great and BC should be a very natural rivalry, them being in the ACC and we being, certainly, at that level."
Thursday's meeting in the 2K Sports Classic will be the 90th between the two New England schools. UConn holds a 54-34 edge in the all-time series, but it is BC that earned a 75-70 victory in the last meeting between the two programs on January 5, 2003. Though after Thursday's matchup at MSG, Boston College might not be as eager as UConn to renew hostilities on a more permanent basis.