Boston College Basketball Releases 2013-14 Schedule

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Home slate features Syracuse, Duke, Notre Dame and Pittsburgh.

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On Thursday, Boston College basketball released its 2013-14 schedule. Here's the schedule as we know it:

November

Friday, Nov. 8 at Providence Friars, TBA
Sunday, Nov. 10 vs. UMass Minutemen @ TD Garden, TBA
Thursday, Nov. 14 vs. Toledo Rockets #, TBA
Sunday, Nov. 17 vs. Florida Atlantic Owls #, ESPNU, TBA
Thursday, Nov. 21 vs. Connecticut Huskies # @ Madison Square Garden, ESPN2, 7 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 22 vs. Indiana Hoosiers / Washington Huskies # @ Madison Square Garden, ESPNU / ESPN2, 5/7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 26 vs. Sacred Heart Pioneers, TBA

December

Wednesday, Dec. 4 at Purdue Boilermakers $, ESPN2, 9 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 8 at USC Trojans, TBA
Thursday, Dec. 12 vs. Maryland Terrapins, ESPNU, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 15 vs. Philadelphia U. Rams, TBA
Sunday, Dec. 22 at Auburn Tigers, TBA
Saturday, Dec. 28 vs. Va. Commonwealth Rams % @ Barclays Center, TBA

January

Wednesday, Jan. 1 at Harvard Crimson, TBA
Saturday, Jan. 4 vs. Clemson Tigers, RSN/ESPN3, 4 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 11 at Virginia Tech Hokies, RSN/ESPN3, Noon
Monday, Jan. 13 vs. Syracuse Orange, ESPNU, 9 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 18 at North Carolina Tar Heels, ESPN/ESPN2, Noon
Tuesday, Jan. 21 vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, ESPNU, 9 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 29 vs. Virginia Tech Hokies, RSN/ESPN3, 7 p.m.

February

Saturday, Feb. 1 at Notre Dame Fighting Irish, ACCN/ESPN3, Noon
Wednesday, Feb. 5 at Virginia Cavaliers, ESPN2, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 8 vs. Duke Blue Devils, ESPN, 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 12 at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, RSN/ESPN3, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 16 vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish, ESPNU, 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 19 at Syracuse Orange, ESPN2, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 22 at Miami Hurricanes, ACCN/ESPN3, Noon
Wednesday, Feb. 26 vs. Pittsburgh Panthers, ACCN/ESPN3, 8 p.m.

March

Saturday, Mar. 1 at #TheRivalry, RSN/ESPN3 4 p.m.
Tuesday, Mar. 4 vs. Florida St. Seminoles, ESPNU, 9 p.m.
Sunday, Mar. 9 at N.C. State Wolfpack, ESPNU, 6 p.m.
Mar. 12 - Mar. 16 ACC Tournament, ESPN Networks / ACCN, TBA

@ Coaches vs. Cancer Boston Tip-Off
# 2K Sports Classic benefiting Wounder Warrior Project
$ Big Ten/ACC Challenge
% BROOKLYN HOOPS Winter Festival

Some thoughts:

-- Donahue has set up a challenging non-conference schedule this season light on home games. The Eagles have just four non-conference home games this year against Toledo, FAU, Philadelphia (D-II) and Sacred Heart.

-- The flipside, of course, is that this presents a schedule heavy on road/neutral battles. The season begins on Friday, November 8 at Providence. BC also has road/neutral contests with UMass (TD Garden), Connecticut and one of Indiana / Washington (MSG), at Purdue (B1G Challenge), at USC, at Auburn, VCU (Barclays Center) and at Harvard. It's a challenging slate of games for any club, let alone one that has struggled in road/neutral games the past few seasons. This looks like a calculated risk Donahue is willing to take this season for if the program fails to improve on its performance over the last two years, one has to assume that Donahue's seat will be rather toasty by season's end.

-- The other downside to having such few home games is the home non-conference schedule provides little to no value to prospective season ticket holders. Other than the two home games as part of the 2K Sports Classic (Toledo and FAU), the Sacred Heart game is the Tuesday before Thanksgiving break and the December 15 game against Division II Philadelphia U. is the second day of finals. Also it's a game against a Division II school. Not only does this seem like a missed opportunity in terms of selling season tickets, but also for building early season buzz for the home ACC portion of the schedule. With Bates reconfiguring the student section this season to create a better home court atmosphere, one would think the program would want more than just 2-3 games to test it out before hitting the ACC home schedule.

-- Not only this, but the presence of Sunday afternoon games in the fall is troublesome. BC plays on FIVE Sundays before the new year -- UMass @ the Garden, Toledo, at USC, Philadelphia, at Auburn. The good news is just one of those is a home game. The bad news is that for a program that struggles to garner much local attention in recent years, going up against the NFL is not a good look.

-- HATE the idea of the UMass game at the Garden. Don't hate the Commonwealth Classic; just the idea of putting this at a neutral site. Put this game back on campus. There's no reason why BC or UMass needs to mortgage an additional home game to allow Boston U., Holy Cross and Harvard the chance to play at the Garden in front of a few 1,000 fans. Also another missed opportunity for an extra home non-conference game to bring someone, anyone of even mild significance to Conte Forum. I honestly can't remember the last time a marquee non-conference opponent visited the Heights outside of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Kansas?

-- That said, love the idea of multiple games in the New York City area. Looking forward to the BC-UConn game as well as the Indiana/Washington game. The VCU game at the Barclays Center is gravy. The program should make a more concerted effort to get down to New York more often to play in front of a rather sizable alumni base. BC is the closest ACC member by distance from New York City after all.

-- The ACC once again has the Eagles' first conference game of the year in early December. And against Maryland. Barring a meeting in the ACC Tournament, BC will be done with the Terps for good before the year is out which is ... strange.

-- Way to bury what should be a pretty interesting game between Boston College and Harvard on New Year's Day. I'm sure that game won't get lost in the January 1 shuffle. With so few non-conference home games, this probably also wasn't the year to stand on ceremony and give Harvard the home game, in my opinion.

-- Noticeably absent from this year's non-conference slate are Holy Cross and Rhode Island. Unclear whether this is a one year thing due to some of these other scheduling obligations (USC home-and-home, back end of the Auburn home-and-home, etc.) or a more longer term thing. Will be interesting to see how the program treats both local rivals going forward.

-- Other than the Maryland game in early December, the other quirk in the ACC schedule is that certain programs play each other twice before playing others once. As is the case with Virginia Tech (1/11 and 1/29), Syracuse (1/13 and 2/19), Georgia Tech (1/21 and 2/12) and Notre Dame (2/1 and 2/16). BC will play each of those four programs twice before ever playing Miami, Pittsburgh, Wake Forest or Florida State, which, again, strange.

-- BC has just one Saturday-to-Monday turnaround and it's a significant one -- Saturday, January 11 at Virginia Tech and Monday, January 13 vs. Syracuse. Hope the quick turnaround doesn't affect the team. January 13 is also the first day of classes for the spring semester. Not the best timing for the first Syracuse home game in a decade.

-- Though there aren't that many home games overall, the ones that BC does have are pretty good. It will be great to see Syracuse, Notre Dame and Pittsburgh back on the Heights. Combined with 2014 home games against Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Florida State, should be one of the more memorable and challenging home conference slates in a while; possibly since BC joined the league in 2005.

-- The TV exposure is nice, but seems to be lacking overall. Just one game (of 31) on ESPN. Also disappointed to see games against Syracuse relegated to ESPNU and Notre Dame and Pittsburgh relegated to ESPN3. Such is life in a rather dominant, expanded hoops conference.

-- The first and only regular season meeting between Boston College and Florida State happens on Tuesday, March 4, smack in the middle of spring break. The game is a 9 p.m. start on ESPNU. I can already envision the attendance jokes on Twitter.

Overall, a pretty challenging schedule for Coach Donahue and the Eagles in year 4 of the Donahue era. My take is that the road/neutral heavy non-conference schedule will put this team on the outside looking in at the NCAAs and possibly even the NIT, though I appreciate Donahue's willingness to roll the dice a bit and challenging what should be an experience-laden team in 2013-14.

Leave your own thoughts on the schedule below.

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