It was one of those cross-roads moments that teams without a clear sense of direction have during the season.
For Boston College, Tuesday night’s Atlantic Coast Conference meeting with Florida State was a game in which enthusiasm had to be induced.
Yes, it was the final home for BC, but in a season where the losses came in steady does at home and on the road, the 2013-2014 last home game call could have been met with mixed emotions.
Yes, it was Senior Night, but on a roster with only one senior, guard Danny Rubin on the roster. Fittingly, Rubin was a contributor early in the game with the opening basket, a trifecta.
Lack of purpose was not the case for FSU, which still has visions of making into the NCAA tournament in a few weeks. But the Seminoles (8-7 ACC record and a 18-11 overall mark) are very much on the proverbial NCAA tournament “bubble.”
Losing to (8-22) BC was simply not an option.
So there it was: a team with everything at stake vs. a team with almost nothing, other than self pride, at stake.
Throw in a 9 p.m. start, the typical indifferent and absent Conte Forum gathering and you had another challenge for Coach Steve Donahue’s Eagles.
And, as been the case from the first game of this lost season at The Heights, BC came up just a little bit short, dropping a 74-70 decision to the Seminoles.
Say this about BC and about Donahue. BC competes. At the start. At the end.
This one was similar to the half a dozen games the Eagles saw ooze out of their hands. FSU’s biggest lead was four points in the first half and the four point margin of victory.
It was a game in which the lead changed hands 20 times, with 10 ties.
But once again a winnable game slipped away from the Eagles. A missed three point attempt by Patrick Heckman and a missed three point attempt by Olivier Hanlan with the Eagles trailing by 3 in the final seconds typified the way the game and the season has gone for the Eagles.
For Florida State, the bubble dream still lives, but it might take a win at Syracuse–a free-falling Syracuse-in the ACC regular season finale this weekend, to keep the Seminoles in the NCAA tournament at-large mix.
For BC, it is now down to one regular season game–at North Carolina State and what figures to be a cameo appearance next week in the ACC tournament.
After that, the eyes of BC nation will focus on BC athletic director Steve Donahue, who must make a decision on whether to allow Donahue to return for his fifth season at BC.
Big night for bubble teams–both good and bad. Georgetown, which probably still has to go deep into the Big East tournament to get a bid, took a giant step forward by upsetting Creighton 75-63 Tuesday night…Baylor, a bubble team in the Big 12, knocked off Iowa State 74-61
Syracuse, unbeaten and ranked No.1 in the country two weeks ago, continued to tumble, was upset by Georgia Tech on Senior Night and now has lost four of its last five. ..Providence, another Big East bubble team, had to beat Marquette at home Coach Ed Cooley’s team had to go to double overtime to do it, winning an 81-80 marathon. The bubble is alive at the Dunk.
Something has to give on Saturday night at Duke. The Devils have won 32 in a row at home and will host North Carolina, which has won 12 straight games.
No. 1 Florida looked sluggish in the first half of its game against South Carolina. but then took control in the second half in rolling to a 72-46 win over the Gamecocks. Guard Michael Frazier II led the way with 11 three point and 37 points. The Gators have the right combination of senior leadership, good defense and a guy (Billy Donovan) who knows what he is doing on the bench.
© 2014, Mark. All rights reserved.