Future opponents of Boston College (listen up, Duke) take note: although Virginia dominated BC for most of the game and was up 19 with six minutes left in the game, the Eagles made a heck of a comeback, cutting the lead to six with 39 seconds to go. Object lesson for fans: UVa's had largely left and might have heard on the radio.
If it weren't for Virginia hitting late free throws, BC might have pulled off a real shocker, a possible season changer.
Ifs and buts, as Fred Goldsmith used to say...Virginia hung on and won by 10. But a very interesting situation. Needless to say, that would've toasted Virginia's new status as a member of the Top 25.
Miami continues to be a tough out despite limited talent. Latest near-victim: Pitt, as the Panthers had to have overtime to finish off the 'Canes. Unfortunately, Miami went 1-6 from the line at the end, and that pretty much settled things.
Like everyone else lately, Florida State didn't get much trouble from punchless Virginia Tech, winning 70-50.
Interesting trend: up until January 22nd, Syracuse aside, BC kept it relatively close. Since the Virginia game on January 25th, the Hokies have lost by 20, 24, 20, and 20.
There's also a nine-game losing streak,which would be 12 but for a win over traditional punching bag Maryland-Eastern Shore.
With Pitt, Miami, a rematch with Virginia, State, Duke UNC, Maryland and Georgia Tech left, there's no guarantee the Hokies win another game. Road wins will be tough - that's Pitt, Duke, Maryland and Georgia Tech - and Miami, Virginia, State and UNC are at home.
For James Johnson, still unproven as a head coach and with a new boss, that can't be comforting.
Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser have both weighed in recently on Maryland's move to the Big Ten.
Wilbon, who is on the board of trustees at Northwestern, said while he understood the money (and had seen the non-disclosed information), that he couldn't imagine people being excited about playing Purdue and even Northwestern (his board colleagues may have some comments about that), and that Big Ten teams would come to regard Maryland and Rutgers as fillers.
That's for football. In basketball, where the Terps really find identity, he doesn't see Maryland being very competitive in the new conference. That remains to be seen. There was a reason Lefty Driesell called it the (would-be) UCLA of the East. Maryland has never come close to its potential.
For his part, Kornheiser calls the move "a colossal blunder" and said bluntly "Maryland’s not going to have success there. They’re just not."
For some reason, he also focuses on Purdue as the dregs.
What's done is done, but a couple of points to consider: the Big Ten Network was a brilliant counterstroke to poor longterm demographics for the Big Ten. People are moving out more than they are moving in. Kornheiser made a suggestion we haven't seen anywhere else, that the entire conference structure could someday dissolve.
Well change of that sort is more likely to come to TV first. The original model is long gone and the cable/satellite model of bundling is under siege.
Sports broadcasting harkens back to the old days because it can draw a mass audience. That's not going away anytime soon, but the means of delivery may change substantially. Given the huge changes looming, there are no guarantees beyond this: the majority of Americans live in the ACC footprint. The BTN's future is no more assured than that of, say, Time-Warner Cable. And if you've noticed, there's a move on to buy TWC, with Charter making the initial attempt. Industry analysts see more companies weighing in. This isn't happening from a position of strength; it's companies trying to preserve a future. But as Clayton Christensen tell us, size is nothing when disruption comes. And clearly, disruption is coming.