College Basketball Nation: Boston Terriers

Let's just get this out of the way: In no way, shape or form do we feel like anyone was trying to cheat in Saturday's Bucknell-Boston University basketball game. What you are about to watch is NOT a big deal.

But with all of the hysteria going on this week with the New England Patriots and Deflategate, one can't help but laugh when presented with video of a college basketball game in Boston being slightly delayed due to ball inflation issues.

Yes folks, it's true. After the ref bounced the game ball before the opening tip, then let some of the Bucknell players test it out, he determined the ball was over-inflated and it was replaced by a new one.

You can't make this stuff up.

video

ESPN.com's America East preview

October, 15, 2012
10/15/12
6:25
PM ET
Before we get to the Blue Ribbon team-by-team previews for the America East, here is Eamonn Brennan's wind sprint through the league:



Blue Ribbon's in-depth previews of all nine America East teams: Insider

Albany
Boston U.
Binghamton
Hartford
Maine
New Hampshire
Stony Brook
UMBC
Vermont

ESPN.com's America East preview

October, 14, 2011
10/14/11
5:29
PM ET
Before we get to the Blue Ribbon team-by-team previews for the America East, here is Eamonn Brennan's one-minute wind sprint through the league:



Blue Ribbon breakdowns of all nine teams in the America East:

Albany
Binghamton
Boston University InsiderFree
Hartford
Maine
New Hampshire
Stony Brook
UMBC
Vermont

More America East content:

Rapid Reaction: Kansas 72, Boston 53

March, 18, 2011
3/18/11
9:06
PM ET


TULSA, Okla. -- Thoughts from Kansas' 72-53 win over Boston U.:

Overview: Kansas had the toughest opening-game struggle of any No. 1 seed, beating game Boston U. by 19 points. Duke won its opener by 42, Ohio State won its by 29 and Pittsburgh won its by 23. The Jayhawks led by just four at halftime before pulling away in the second half.

Turning point: The Jayhawks hit 3-pointers on three straight possessions midway through the second half, pushing their lead to 15 with less than eight minutes remaining to put the game out of reach.

Key player: Marcus Morris had team highs of 16 points and nine rebounds.

Key stat: The Jayhawks mauled the Terriers on the glass, outrebounding them 37-24.

Miscellaneous: Kansas got a nice floor game from the occasionally erratic Tyshawn Taylor, who had 10 points, seven assists and two turnovers. Boston U. was led by John Holland with 19 points. He finished his career with more than 2,000 points and got a long hug and heartfelt words from Terriers coach Pat Chambers when he was taken out of the game in the final minute.

What's next: Kansas advances to play the winner of UNLV-Illinois. Boston U. is off until Midnight Madness 2011.

Previewing Tulsa: The night games

March, 18, 2011
3/18/11
7:07
AM ET


TULSA, Okla. -- A brief breakdown of the two night games here Friday

No. 1 seed Kansas (32-2) vs. No. 15 seed Boston (21-13), 6:50 p.m. ET (TBS)

What to watch: Are the Jayhawks ready to take care of business? The No. 1 seed in the Southwest was handed a huge potential gift Thursday when the 4 and 5 seeds in the region, Louisville and Vanderbilt, both lost. That means Kansas will face either a No. 12 (Richmond) or a No. 13 (Morehead State) in the Sweet Sixteen … IF it gets there. Last year, as the overall No. 1 seed in the tourney, the Jayhawks were shocked by Northern Iowa in the second round, and there have been other early NCAA pratfalls in Bill Self’s time in Lawrence. Odds of a loss Friday to Boston U. are astronomical, so the question is whether or not Kansas passes the “look test” as a title contender against the Terriers.

Who to watch: The Morris twins are where it starts for the Jayhawks. Marcus and Markieff combine for 31 points and 15 rebounds and will be a major challenge for a Boston front line that is not overly long. The Terriers counter with America East Player of the Year John Holland, a 6-5 combo player who averages 19.2 points and 5.9 rebounds. Holland already has set the school record for points in a season and is No. 2 in school history in scoring.

Why to watch: If history is made and Boston becomes the first No. 16 seed to beat a No. 1, you’ll hate yourself if you miss it.

What they’re saying: Kansas guard Mario Little, on Self putting copies of the Sports Illustrated cover of Northern Iowa hero Ali Farokhmanesh in every locker: “Kind of got flashbacks. Couple of guys took the clippings and threw it in the garbage. I don’t think anybody laughed, but it brought back memories.” … Boston coach Pat Chambers, a former assistant at Villanova, where he saw the Morris twins play a lot growing up in Philadelphia: “I just saw them in the hallway and they gave me big hugs, so it was good to see them. They got bigger.” … Self, on his all-over-the-board tourney history: “If anybody has lived out all ends of the spectrum, we probably have, because we lost in the first round a couple times and we’ve cut down the nets. I don’t know if there are too many people that can say they’ve done all those things. So our guys understand that one or two possessions is the difference in advancing or going home.”

Of note: If you’re into omens, note that Kansas’ two recent first-round flameouts came against schools with the initials B.U. -- Bucknell and Bradley. Now comes Boston U. … If the Terriers are somehow in contention late, they should have confidence going to the foul line. They’ve made 73 percent of their free throws in the final five minutes plus overtime this year, and 81 percent in the final one plus plus overtime. … Boston’s only two NCAA tourney victories came in 1959.

No. 8 seed UNLV (19-13) vs. No. 9 seed Illinois (24-8), 9:20 p.m. ET (TBS)

What to watch: Who rules at the 3-point arc, the Vegas offense or the Illini defense? UNLV predicates its offense on driving and kicking the ball to open shooters. The Rebels have four players capable of shooting the 3 – but the rangy Illinois defenders have done a solid job this year covering the perimeter. Illini opponents have made just 30.5 percent of their 3-point shots. But it may be more complicated than the stats indicate; Illinois is susceptible to quickness, so it must concern itself with UNLV’s drivers and then try to recover to the shooters.

Who to watch: A pair of veteran guards who have had roller-coaster seasons. UNLV is led by Tre'von Willis, whose scoring and shooting percentages have dipped from last year. but who remains the most important Rebel. Illinois is led by Demetri McCamey, who went from first-team all-Big Ten as a junior to third team as a senior but nevertheless dictates the offense as the team’s leading scorer (14.8 ppg) and distributor (6.1 apg).

Why to watch: To see which disappointing team can help salvage its season with a first-round NCAA win. With seven experienced players back at UNLV and after a 9-0 start, more was expected of the Rebels than a distant third-place finish in the Mountain West Conference. The same can be said for Illinois, which starts four seniors and was ranked as high as No. 12 nationally in December. One fan base will feel a bit better Friday night, while the other will be left to ruminate on a season that got away.

What they’re saying: Illinois coach Bruce Weber: “We’re good enough. We’ve just got to find that new life and hope some balls bounce our way a little bit. Maybe March will be good to us.” … Vegas’ Anthony Marshall, on trying to bring the program back to prominence: “I think right now is a big platform for us to make a national statement.” … Illinois senior Mike Davis, on a sense of urgency: “It’s do or die. It’s our last game if we lose.”

Of note: UNLV is 2-7 against teams in the tournament, while Illinois is 8-10. … Illinois has lost its past four games away from home, while UNLV has won its past four. … They might as well name this place Reunion Arena for Illinois. Vegas coach Lon Kruger is a former coach of the Illini, and so is Bill Self. His Kansas Jayhawks could be next up for Illinois if both teams win Friday.
When you think of Madison Square Garden, you probably think of Willis Reed, Earl Monroe, Bill Bradley, John Starks, Patrick Ewing, Michael Jordan (definitely Michael Jordan), the St. John's Red Storm, the thousand or so romantic comedies that have used the Garden as a backdrop, "Eddie" and Jay-Z. (You gotta pardon Jay/ for selling out the Garden in a day.) You probably don't think of America East basketball.

Oh, but that's about to change, kids. The America East Conference is, at least for one night, taking over the most famous arena in the world. On Feb. 10, 2011, Albany and Boston University will play the America East's first-ever game between two conference foes at MSG, according to a release from the conference. The game will follow a St. John's-Connecticut contest and tip off at around 9:35 EST; the idea belongs to former America East commissioner and current St. John's athletic director Chris Monasch.
“This is a wonderful step forward for America East Basketball,” [America East commissioner Patrick] Nero said. “Madison Square Garden has been the mecca of college basketball for over 75 years. We are thrilled that the students, alumni and fans from Boston University and Albany will get an opportunity to experience college basketball in The Garden. If you play college basketball or are a fan of college basketball, you want to get the chance to enjoy the passion and history of Madison Square Garden.”

I doubt we'll have to pardon BU and Albany for selling out the Garden in a day -- it's easier to imagine a half-filled stadium emptying out after UConn and St. John's finish their tilt -- but no matter. The sheer existence of the game is what someone who gets paid to say things like the following would call a "strategic brand awareness event." Indeed.

(Hat tip: College Hoops Journal)

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