If you play with fire, it’s only a matter of time before you’re going to get burned. In Syracuse’s last two games, both came down to the wire and required buzzer beaters to keep the Orange undefeated on the season. However, the magic that they had used to start their season a school best 25-0 ran out on Wednesday night as they experienced their first loss on the season. What might have made it all worse was that it was in front of 26,716 fans at their home crowd at the Carrier Dome.
The 62-59 overtime loss on the season was just as stunning of a win for the Boston College Eagles as it was a loss for the Orange. After all, the only team separating Boston College from the bottom of the cellar in the ACC is the Virginia Tech Hokies. Prior to the game, the Eagles were 2-10 on the season in ACC play and 6-19 overall. This was only the third time in history that a road team with a below .500 record was able to knock off an undefeated No.1 team on their home court. And BC’s .240 win percentage before the game was the lowest a No.1 team has ever lost to this late in the calendar year. Now, you have to think that no matter what happens throughout the remainder of the season, the players from Boston College will have something to look back on this season as the highlight of their year, if not their career.
The Eagles got 20 points from sophomore guard Oliver Hanlan. The Canadian from Quebec is the leading scorer on the team with 18.3 per game, and he once again came up huge when the Eagles needed him most. Ryan Anderson also needs a huge hug after this one, as he pulled down 14 boards. At just 6-8, Anderson was able to bang around and dominate the glass with Syracuse’s perennial powerhouse players like CJ Fair and Rakeem Christmas. Although Fair had 20 points and 11 rebounds on the night, Anderson gave him fits on the block all night long.
Some people will argue that this was a trap game for Syracuse. After all, they have a huge rematch coming up on Saturday against No.5 Duke in Durham. However, maybe this loss was a sign of some of the weaknesses that Syracuse has. After all, if it wasn’t for a few hail marry tosses at the buzzer in the last few games, Syracuse could’ve had a seriously disastrous week.
There is no time for the Orange to sulk in at the fact that they’ve lost the idea of a perfect season. They have to get back to things as they prepare to head to Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday. And sure, the Orange were able to beat the Dukies in New York back on February 1st, but now things will be at one of the craziest venues in all of sports.
If Duke is able to avenge their loss to Syracuse and get a win on Saturday, that would mark the second loss on the week for the Orange. That would almost all but guarantee to be enough to drop them from the top spot in the polls. However, would it be enough to drop them past an undefeated Wichita State team? And would the win for Duke be enough to get them ahead of Syracuse, considering the Blue Devils already have five losses of their own on the season? There are a lot of questions that will be answered on Sunday night and you can bet that game at Cameron could be one for the ages.
But in the mean time, anyone who picked Boston College to knock off Syracuse on Wednesday made a huge gamble and won big.