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2006 Boston College Eagles Mens Basketball

2006 Boston College Eagles

Boston College Adjusts Well to its New Surroundings

Many teams seemed to be changing conferences this year. Numerous clubs left Conference USA for other leagues, while the Boston College Eagles chose to eschew the Big East for the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). In their first season, the Eagles were highly competitive in the ACC, which features high caliber teams such as Duke, North Carolina, N.C. State, Florida State, and Maryland.

Within the conference, BC was 11-5 and overall they finished with a 26-6 mark. They were a good road team, losing only four and winning 11. At home they were nearly unbeatable, losing once to Duke (81-83). The Eagles made it to the ACC Finals this year where they lost to Duke (76-78). Both losses to the number one seed Blue Devils were by two points.

Check Out What Coach K Had to Say:
After watching a thrilling and very well played ACC Championship Game, I paid close attention to what Coach K had to say to the Boston College coaches and players after the game was over. He mouthed the words "We’ll see you in the Final Four." That’s how good Coach K thinks this Boston College team is. And you have to take his opinion seriously because the man flat out knows basketball.

Lets face it, coaches know more about the teams they have played than most handicappers. They have watched film on these teams, seen them up close in personal, and have tried to figure out a way to beat that particular team. They know their strengths and weaknesses much more than even the most acute observer. I always take coaches, especially those who are well distinguished, opinions very seriously when they comment on another team.

It was a huge compliment I felt to the Boston College Eagles who almost beat North Carolina and Duke in BACK TO BACK DAYS! I definitely think this team is Final Four caliber with their tremendous front line as well as a solid back-court. Their flex offense will continue to cause problems for teams in this tournament and I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see them make it to the Final Four.

If you look at it from an objective standpoint, Boston College took the overall #1 seed, Duke to the wire not once but twice this season. When you throw in the fact that they had just beaten a very talented North Carolina club the day before, everything points towards the fact that this is a very dangerous team that you do not want to face. They have Villanova and Ohio State seeded ahead of them in their bracket, however I think they are playing better than both of these teams and will make a run to the Final Four.

Although it’s never easy to lose, the slim margin of defeat to Duke along with the manner in which BC has acquitted itself on the road and within and without its conference bode well for the team as it enters March Madness. Its first round opponent will be Big West Conference Champion Pacific University (23-7).

The Eagles have a range of experience, which is certainly helpful in a tournament where every game is a big one. Senior forward Craig Smith and junior forward Jared Dudley provide the bulk of BC’s points, with a physical and cagey inside game. This season Smith led the team in points and rebounds per game, with 17.0 and 8.5 respectively. Dudley was right behind him, averaging 16.3 PPG and 6.9 RPG.

Swingman Sean Marshall, a junior, provided 11.6 PPG and 4.1 RPG and senior guard Louis Hinnant created points and opportunities for the other players on the court, scoring 7.1 PPG while connecting for 4.3 APG. Fifth starter, guard Tyrese Rice, hit for 9.2 PPG.

Each of BC’s starters played in every game this season. The Eagles enter March Madness with solid team play, tournament experience, and a painful memory. They were the team that the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee defeated (83-75) in last year’s NCAA Tournament, sending the Eagles home early and placing UW-M in the Sweet 16. For UW-M it was part of their Cinderella Story but for B.C. it was one big nightmare.

The Eagles, one-year more experienced and carrying a bitter memory, are in the NCAA Tournament to prove that they can win and are not merely part of another team’s success story. From their performance this season, they stand a good chance of doing just that.

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