ACADEMIC INTEGRATION COMPETITIVE EXCELLENCE

IN DIVISION I ATHLETICS

 

ESPN: BC Looks To Prevent Crash Landing

Pictured: Keith Wright, in Harvard's victory at Boston College last season (John Quackenbos)

By Brian MacPherson
Special to ESPNBoston.com

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. -- Boston College didn't need to hear what happened to UConn on Sunday to know not to take Harvard lightly. The Eagles already knew all about Harvard.

BC upset unbeaten North Carolina last season, a building-block win for a team picked to finish near the bottom of the ACC. Three days later, Harvard seized control early and never looked back en route to a stunning win over the Eagles at Conte Forum.

BC toppled unbeaten Miami on Sunday, potentially a building-block win for a team picked to finish near the bottom of the ACC.

Next on the schedule? Harvard.

"We can't let that happen this year," said forward Corey Raji, who had 17 points and nine rebounds against Miami. "We have to take each game as it comes. When we won that North Carolina game, we were still stuck on that win -- and Harvard came in here and basically gave us a whooping."

The Crimson, who play in Chestnut Hill at 7 p.m. Wednesday, are fully capable of giving BC another whooping. Guard Jeremy Lin scored 27 points against the Eagles last season, and he dropped 30 on UConn on Sunday -- including 11 in the final two minutes of the game. Lin is averaging 17.8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game, and he's just the type of player who has given the Eagles fits all season:

* Saint Joseph's guards Garrett Williamson, Darrin Govens and Carl Jones scored 18, 16 and 16 points, respectively, in the opening game of the Paradise Jam on the U.S. Virgin Islands.

* Northern Iowa guard Kwadzo Ahelegbe scored 32 points at the Paradise Jam -- and he needed only three 3-pointers to do it.

* Providence guard Sharaud Curry scored a season-best 20 points against BC two days after Thanksgiving.

* Michigan guard Manny Harris scored 19 points during the Big 10/ACC Challenge last week.

* Miami guard Malcolm Grant hit four 3-pointers and scored 18 points Sunday.

Not one of those guards, though, ultimately lifted his team to a victory. As far as the Eagles are concerned, Lin can score all he wants as long as he's the only one scoring -- and as long as the Crimson don't pull another upset.

Last season's loss to Harvard, after all, kicked off a five-game losing streak that had quite a bit to do with the Eagles' No. 7 seed in the NCAA tournament -- and thus their first-round exit at the hands of Southern Cal.

Boston College already has two résumé-torching losses to its credit this season, souvenirs from a lackluster trip to the Virgin Islands. A loss to Harvard -- revenge for last year's game notwithstanding -- wouldn't exactly do wonders for the Eagles' March Madness hopes.

"We want to get them back," guard Reggie Jackson said. "But we had those two losses in the Virgin Islands in neutral [court] games to UNI and Saint Joe's. We watch ESPN. We know it's not going to look good on our résumé. We prepare ourselves the best we can for each and every game. Until March comes, we're trying to not look past any opponent."