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Sully's court

Posted by Joe Sullivan, Globe Staff  January 8, 2009 09:53 AM

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A KNEE-JERK REACTION

Silly old me: Call me naive or old-fashioned, but this was the thought that popped into my head as I watched Boston College's 85-78 upset of North Carolina Sunday: Why did it take this game for the Eagles to play with such passion? They seemed over-the-top excited about playing in the Dean Dome. Are the other games unimportant? I think all games are important and part of me is insulted that BC can only get fired up for playing at North Carolina. There's an attitude that seems to sit there that only the Atlantic Coast Conference games are important. Again, all the games are important. BC's loss to Harvard last night proves the point. I wonder how the tournament selection committee will view this? I actually said out loud that the victory over North Carolina puts the Eagles in the NCAA tournament (figuring the season would proceed normally and they wouldn't go into a complete tailspin). On the flip side, shouldn't the Harvard loss keep them out? I think so (figuring the season would proceed normally and they wouldn't run off 15 straight wins).

BC's not alone in this thinking that only the league games are really important. UConn has trouble getting prepared for non-league opponents. Heck, I've sat in press conference where Jim Calhoun has said his team wasn't excited about playing a first-round NCAA game. Yikes. Syracuse's Andy Rautins is having a tremendous season as a 3-point shooter but coach Jim Boeheim said his open-shot opportunities would disappear once the Big East season started. Wednesday night, he had plenty of them, scoring 17 points to help lead Syracuse over DePaul. I guess non-Big East teams aren't the only ones who have trouble defending him.

Everyone feels obligated to promote their own league, I understand that. But I find it annoying at times when coaches and players arrogantly talk about their league as if it's something different than anyone else's. There are good teams in every league. Remember Davidson and Siena winning NCAA tournament games last season?

League play is different because of rivalry, familiarity, and emotion, but it's more a universal truth than one attached to any one league. BC should be able to recover from this. After all, there are only ACC games left on the schedule.

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