This is my first time back on here since Wednesday night. I just had to take yesterday off, from everything sports related (one exception, I had to know how UNC-Duke turned out). No TNIAAM, no ESPN, none of those conference realignment boards I read, nothing sports related. I needed to take a day off and just think. So, I've got a few things I'd like to get off my chest here, and I apologize in advance if some of these thoughts have already been mentioned by others here. I haven't read through everyone's post-game comments because the thought of attempting to do so gives me a headache; gotta keep moving forward.
First off, we have still defeated every team we have played this year. We may have lost to BC on Wednesday, but we did defeat them at their own place about a month ago. This thought will hold true if we lose to Duke on Saturday, as well. I think that when this team is playing at their best, they can defeat anybody. SU played very poorly on Wednesday night - if we had played just a little bit better, we would have won. The important takeaway here - we beat BC before.
Secondly, when teams play each other more than once in a season, a certain sense of familiarity seeps in that has a sort of equalizing effect. Why would Boston College be intimidated when they have already played us once before? Factor in the fact that Donahue has coached against Boeheim many times - as a coach, he could probably inspire a great deal of confidence in his guys; "I know how Boeheim coaches, I know what we have to do to beat him, follow my game plan and we can WIN." Back to my main point (playing a team more than once in a season), take a look at the NBA playoffs. How often does a team totally dominate a 7-game series and win in 4 games? It happens, but not all that often.
Third, we are still #1, for now. I think that come Monday, we have a shot at remaining #1. But we must win at Duke, and win convincingly. If we can beat Duke by double-digits, I don't see how we deserve to lose the top ranking. Going on the road, at one of the most hostile environments in the country, and defeating a top 5 team would go a long ways towards proving to people that we are as good as our record indicates. We have fewer losses than anyone else in the country, except for Wichita St. All eyes will be on Syracuse-Duke Saturday night. We need our guys to step up and have a huge game. That's a lot of pressure and is no easy task. The chances of BC beating us on Wednesday night were what, like 1%? The chances of us beating Duke on Saturday are about 45% or so, right? We saw one very improbable result Wednesday night; us winning at Duke would be less improbable.
Fourth, I think we're in real danger of losing out on the regular season ACC championship. It's not likely Virginia will lose anymore games before we play them. Therefore, if we want to win the ACC regular season, we can not lose any more games, and we must win at Virginia. I have faith that we can pull it off, but we do have an incredibly tough stretch of games ahead. There is no room for error. I don't know about you guys, but I really really want us to win the ACC in this, our first year. Sure, we could win the ACC Tournament (I think our team is built to win that thing), but winning the regular season is that much sweeter, because it takes two months of hard work to do that.
That's all. Thanks for listening. That sums up what has been brewing in my head the last 36 hours. We'll see how Saturday plays out, but we can survive the BC loss. Not all hope is lost.