Brian: The late NC State head coach Jim Valvano made famous the phrase "survive and advance" during the Wolfpack's magical 1983 National Championship season. I can't think of a more fitting phrase to describe today in BC athletics. Jeff, do you consider this to be the most important day of the year for BC athletics?
Jeff: This is absolutely not the most important day of the year for BC athletics. Winning the ACC and going to the Orange Bowl was much more important. Football is king.
Brian: Jeff, this is the most important day of the year for BC athletics because - guess what - we haven't played for a spot in the Orange Bowl this year! We have a single elimination hockey game against our B line rivals to defend our National Championship ... as well as a first round NCAA basketball tournament game where Trapani, Sanders, Southern and Raji can build on the momentum of winning a first round NCAA game. It could possibly be Tyrese Rice's last game as an Eagle, one of BC's all-time leading scorers. And the Eagles need to play well to justify their seed as a lot of pundits and writers thought BC was seeded way too low in this tournament.
You have to be excited for today. Definitely the top BC athletics day of the year so far.
Let's run down the action tonight.
First up, at 7:30pm we have the Eagles first round matchup against the 10 seeded USC Trojans. Jeff, give me three keys to winning the game.
Jeff: First of all, the Eagles need to rebound as always, then Rice needs to contribute in the first half, not just the second half, and finally, they need to make their free throws. They're FREE!
Brian: Shortly after the hoops game starts, the postseason comes early for the BC men's hockey team. York and the Eagles have what amounts to a single-elimination game tonight against the No. 1 seeded Boston University Terriers in the Hockey East semifinal. With a win, the Eagles live to see another day. Lose and last year's National title defense is a non-starter. There are situations where the Eagles can win tonight and lose to Northeastern on Saturday and still make the NCAAs, but a lot of games would have to break the Eagles way. Eagles fans, meet your new favorite teams in North Dakota and Denver!
Jeff: Petside.com ranks Boston College's mascot - the Eagle - the #7 best mascot in the NCAA Tournament. Thanks to Cristin for the link. Brian, you agree?
Brian: First, that list is way too redundant. Two Eagles, two Wildcats and two Huskies in the Top 10? What's up with that? Baldwin is one of the coolest mascots in the country and he annually gets snubbed in Capital One's Mascot Bowl promotions challenges. Not to mention Baldwin is MUCH cooler than the UConn Husky, who looks like a white furry ball of nothing. Seriously, that mascot is terrible.
Brian: BC forward Brock Bradford earned All-Hockey East second team honors. Congratulations to Brock. Must be somewhat disappointing though considering the senior started the season on nearly every Hobey Baker short list - a list once the regular season came to an end, he ain't on. Jeff, you agree?
Jeff: Completely. Heismans and other Player of the Year awards have become heavily based on team success and BC ain't got any this year.
Jeff: President Obama picked the Eagles to get out of the first round tonight, but has us losing to Michigan State. Your thoughts?
Brian: Can't take his bracket too seriously because he picked North Carolina to win it all, the only team he worked out with on the campaign trail. And you guys think Jeff and I are homers?
Brian: My boy - jpg - laments that while ACC expansion has been good for the quantity of ACC programs making the Big Dance, ACC programs have lacked the required tournament stamina - with only UNC making the Final Four in the post-expansion era. Jeff, your thoughts?
Jeff: It's not the expansion teams fault that Duke has sucked in the dance the last several years. No other ACC teams are expected to ever make the Final Four.
Jeff: On a somewhat related note, the ACC is 5-1 in postseason play with 2 NIT and 3 NCAA wins. What would be considered a successful postseason campaign for the league? 10 total wins? 15? 18?
Brian: Having more teams in the Sweet 16 than the Big East (no one cares about the NIT). Not going to happen this year though given Big East teams got higher seeds than the ACC teams.
Brian: Last one, the baseball team travels to Maryland for a three game set with the Terps. Do they get back in the W column this weekend, and can they pull off the weekend sweep?
Jeff: If they do, who is going to take note anyway? This weekend is about the Dance and the Eagles making the Sweet 16. Second most important is the Hockey East tournament. Baseball isn't even on the radar.
Brian: Baseball is on TV on Saturday but like you said, not many people will be tuned in.
Enjoy all the NCAA tournament action today, and Go Eagles!