A well-deserved, and much needed, victory for BC

A well-deserved, and much needed, victory for BC
February 20, 2014, 11:00 am
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Congratulations to Boston College! Last night, the Eagles pulled off the biggest upset of the college basketball season. An overtime victory, on the road, against Syracuse — the previously undefeated, No. 1 team in the country.

For some perspective on how unlikely BC’s win was, I turned to ESPN Stats & Info, and will now pass along some highlights, including:

*The Eagles came into the game with a record of 6-19, and those 19 losses are the most ever by a team that knocked off No. 1.

*The Eagles became only the third team ever with a losing record to beat No. 1 on the road. This was only third time in school history that they’ve beat the No. 1 team under any circumstances.

*Before Wednesday, Syracuse ranked third on ESPN’s Basketball Power Index (BPI), while Boston College ranked 159. That left them with a 1.2 percent chance of winning. They were 14-point underdogs.

BUT they won. 62-59! And it was an unbelievable game.

Of course, I didn’t see most of it because I didn’t even know that it was on. I mean, come on, it’s BC basketball! It’s been a while since their games registered to anyone outside of the alumni. It’s hard enough for a college team to break into the conscious of pro sports obsessed Bostonians. It’s even harder when it’s been five years since you’ve made the NCAA tournament.

But last night, BC jumped back into the spotlight. For the first time since the days of Craig Smith and Jared Dudley, everyone was and is watching and talking about the Eagles, and — actually, you know what?

Who cares about ‘everyone’? Screw ‘everyone.’ This game wasn’t about the headlines. It’s not about vultures like me, who checked in late, feasted off BC’s upset and used the Eagles for a cheap thrill. Nope. This win was for the Eagle diehards who have scraped along for the entirety of this rough patch. It’s for the players, some of whom will graduate without setting foot in the Big Dance. It’s a reminder of why sports fans care, why athletes put themselves through the grind and the small — sometimes not so small — payoffs that come with loyalty.

The whole BC community is feeling that today. It’s much needed and well deserved, and here’s hoping they ride this wave for as long as they possibly can.

It could be a while until they catch another.

Follow me on Twitter: @rich_levine