Brian: We attempt to wrap up this year's men's hoops season with a game of Food Chain.
Food Chain: Top 5 Moments from the 2008-2009 Men's Basketball Season
We consider these 10 top moments from the 2008-2009 Men's Basketball Season and each rank our top 5 moments below. Feel free to share your top 5 moments in the comments section below.
Receiving a 7 Seed to Play in the NCAA Tournament
I think this was a surprise to the casual college basketball fan. How could Boston College end up with a 7 seed in the NCAA tournament after not receiving a single vote in the regular season ending major polls? How could BC have the same seed as Clemson, who wiped the floor with BC the one game we faced them? Even ESPN.com's Joe Lunardi was a little surprised at the seeding.
Still, this was a great accomplishment for a team that didn't come close to sniffing the postseason a year ago.
Topping No. 1 North Carolina
Up until this point, the ESPN talking heads were practically gushing over the Tar Heels. They had already decreed that North Carolina was to become the 8th team to ever go undefeated and win the NCAA title, and the first since the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers. No one really gave BC a shot at winning this game. The game wasn't nearly as close as the final score would have you believe, as the Eagles led by as many as 14 points with about 6 and a half minutes to play. Rice finished the game with 25 points, Sanders pitched in 22 and Reggie Jackson had 17 points. It was the first win over a No. 1 ranked opponent since Bill Curley and the Eagles took down No. 1 North Carolina in the 1994 NCAA Tournament's second round.
Overtime winner at UMass
There is never any love lost when Boston College and Massachusetts face off in the Commonwealth Classic. BC has dominated the Commonwealth Classic in the 2000s, having won 7 straight from 2000-2006 before UMass upset BC 83-80 in 2007. BC was up 2 before UMass's Tony Gaffney tipped in a bucket to tie the game at 77. In the overtime session, BC jumped to an 81-79 lead on a Josh Southern layup and Joe Trapani and Tyrese Rice hit free throws to clinch the victory for the Eagles. The win pushed BC to 6-2 while UMass fell to 1-6.
Taking Care of Florida State at home OR the Rakim Sanders windmill dunk
Arguably there wasn't a more important game for the Eagles down the stretch than their home matchup with Florida State. BC came back from a 1 point deficit and Tyrese Rice buried a deep 3 pointer with 20.5 seconds left to lift BC over the Seminoles. The win got the Eagles to 20 wins, 3 of those coming against ranked teams. Oh yeah, and there was the SportsCenter highlight reel play from this game as well ...
Duke Survives BC Scare in ACC Quarterfinals
Seems a bit odd to have a loss on a top moments list, but you had to be proud of the effort that the Eagles showed against the ACC's No. 3 seed (and eventual tournament champion). Leading by 7 at the half, Duke crawled back in the game and scored the game-winning bucket with only 34 seconds to play. I think this close loss contributed greatly to the Eagles being awarded with a 7 seed in the NCAA tournament. It certainly would have been nice to have won this game - who knows how far the Eagles could have gone in the ACC tournament - but BC played Duke the toughest of any team in the ACC Tournament (and the NCAAs to date). "I ain't playing no more!"
Beating Georgia Tech at home on Sanders's GW Shot
This game got us to 9 wins in the ACC and can be seen as the game that got us over the NCAA tournament bubble. The goat became the hero, as it was Sanders reach-in foul on Lewis Clinch that gave Georgia Tech a one point lead with 12.4 seconds to play. With 1.7 seconds left, Sanders hit an off-balance, fallaway jumper to lift BC to a 67-66 win over the Jackets and into the NCAA tournament.
Beating Virginia Tech at home on the Sanders' GW tip-in
The Eagles led by 2 at half and led for nearly the entire second half before A.D. Vassallo hit two free throws to put the Hokies ahead 66-65. Tyrese Rice misses the runner, no one on Virginia Tech boxes out, and Rakim Sanders comes flying through the lane for the putback with 0.04 seconds to play. The win pushed the Eagles to 17-6 (5-3 ACC) and gave BC a critical home win over an eventual ACC tournament bubble team.
Comeback Overtime Win On The Road at Georgia Tech
BC somehow coughed up a 14 point lead with 6:41 to play as Georgia Tech - led by Iman Shumpert and Gani Lawal - battled back to force overtime. In the overtime session, Rice made a layup with 20 seconds to play to seal the victory. The win stopped a four game skid for the Eagles, and without this confidence builder, this season's end result could have been turned on its head.
Upsetting Duke in Conte and Storming the Court with Dudley
This game had it all. Tyrese Rice scored his 2,000 point as a BC Eagle. You had the Joe Trapani alley-oop slam punctuation mark. The student section (and Jared Dudley) storming the court. The first BC win over Duke in 25 years. Roll that beautiful Bean-town footage!
Brian's Food Chain
5. Comeback Overtime Win at Georgia Tech - this game stopped the bleeding. If we hadn't won this game, our season may have ended up VERY differently ...
4. Taking Care of Florida State - Although not a buzzer beater, Rice's 3-pointer to seal the game was filthy
3. Beating Virginia Tech / the Sanders' GW tip-in - Another crucial win over an ACC bubble team
2. Upsetting Duke in Conte - Happy for the students and the fans that they got an opportunity to storm the court
1. Topping No. 1 North Carolina - Enough can't be said about this win. An upset of the No. 1 team in the country, on the road, to open ACC play. This is another of those games that if it had gone differently, who knows how this season would have turned out.
Jeff's Food Chain
5. Earning a 7 seed in the NCAA tournament. The tournament was barely on the radar at the start of the season and a 7 was better than most expected.
4. Beating FSU in a game that seemed to make or break our NCAA hopes since it gave us another victory against a ranked team and our 8th ACC win.
3. Nearly upsetting Duke in the NCAA tournament. I don't have the numbers but I'm sure this was the most watched BC basketball game this season by a large margin aside from the tournament depending on how exactly the ratings are calculated since CBS is flipping between games in most markets. We nearly beat Duke twice in the same season when they were top 10 wire to wire. Despite the poor last shot, it was a great effort by the Eagles and more exciting than the UNC or Duke wins.
2. Beating Duke and the students storming the court.
1. A no brainer. Beating #1 UNC on the road. Still probably the most shocking upset of the entire basketball season for the entire nation. Unfortunately, it was quickly overshadowed in Chestnut Hill by the Jags departure.
Leave your own top moments in the comments section below.