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Moment #11 of 2021: MBB Interim Coach Spinelli wins on Senior Day

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: DEC 03 Notre Dame at Boston College Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With 2021 drawing to a close, it’s time to take a look back at the top Boston College athletics moments of the year. It was a strange year, with plenty of disappointing moments, but it was also the year that saw a national title come to the Heights, a return of fans to the stadiums, and some exciting moments across the board.

Let’s count ‘em down, starting with moment #11: Boston College’s 94-90 men’s basketball win over Notre Dame on February 27.

It was another tough year for BC men’s basketball, culminating in the termination of Jim Christian in late February, with BC sitting at 3-13 on the year and having multiple games canceled due to COVID-19 issues within the program. They also had several players either suspended or announcing their intentions to transfer.

Between the firing of Christian, the losing, and the COVID issues, many (including some on this website) reckoned BC could or even should just pull the plug on the rest of the season entirely.

But in their first game under interim coach Scott Spinelli, BC put forth their best effort of the season to topple Notre Dame 94-90 on senior day at Conte Forum. It was a nice moment for Spinelli, who was a loyal servant to BC during some difficult years, and while obviously was not a likely candidate for the full head coaching position, was put in the spot of having to navigate the end of a tumultuous year.

To quote Peter’s game writeup after BC’s win:

It is no question that the last few weeks have been extremely tumultuous for the Boston College Eagles Men’s basketball team. Jim Christian gets canned mid-season, Wynston Tabbs announces he is going to test the transfer portal waters, Rich Kelly goes down for the rest of the season with a foot injury and also expresses his intent to transfer and another two games get cancelled due to COVID related matters. With the Eagles sitting at 3-13 (1-9) on the season, many BC alums began to call an end to the season and question what the rush was to continue playing. Today, in the first matchup for Scott Spinelli as acting interim Head Coach, BC faithful was able to get answer to those questions. Love for the game.

It was one of those days where a game could be enjoyed devoid of any sort of broader postseason or program implications, seeing the joy of BC’s seniors and players putting together a bright moment in what had been a difficult time.

Senior walk-ons Sam Holtze and Will Jackowitz got the start and gave BC some energy early, while Jay Heath and DeMarr Langford put up strong 19-point performances to score the victory.

It was a fleeting moment, as BC went on a three game losing streak to end the season after this one - but on this one day, all was sunny and joyful at Conte Forum.