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Monday, March 14, 2011

Boston University Terriers tickled to get KU in NCAA basketball tournament opener

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Not since Paul Revere’s midnight ride in the late 18th century have so many eyes been fixed on Boston with survival on the line.

Back then, Revere’s famous “One if by land, two if by sea” system helped the patriots stave off the British during the Revolutionary War. Today, with the Boston University men’s basketball team preparing to carry the torch for the city into this week’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament, it’s a spot in the Round of 32 that hangs in the balance.

Though not quite as historic as Revere’s contribution, Boston U. (21-13) will attempt to dabble with history in its own right, as the 16th-seeded Terriers will face No. 1 Kansas University in the second round of this year’s tournament. No 16 seed ever has beaten a No. 1 seed, but becoming the first was the farthest thing from BU coach Patrick Chambers’ mind Sunday night after the pairings were released.

“I haven’t had this feeling in a long time, since I was at Villanova the one year we were the last team in,” said Chambers, now in his second year at BU, who previously served as an assistant at Villanova for five years. “You’re sitting there with butterflies and the suspense .... And then you see Kansas, you’re like, ‘Wow, we get to go to Oklahoma to play Kansas.’ What a great thrill for these guys, this program, this university.”

The Terriers reached this point by winning the America East Conference tournament championship in a thrilling, 56-54, victory against Stony Brook last Saturday in Boston. In that one, America East player of the year John Holland helped lead a furious second-half comeback, in which BU trailed by as many as 15 points and won after Holland sank two free throws with 2.4 seconds remaining. Holland, a senior who averages 19 points and six rebounds per contest, scored 23 of his game-high 27 points in the second half to lead BU to victory.

It marks the seventh time BU has advanced to the NCAA Tournament and, perhaps more importantly, makes the Terriers the only team from the city to qualify for this year’s dance, as nearby programs Harvard and Boston College were left out of the bracket.

Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the berth, Chambers plans to have his team focused on one thing when it begins preparations for the Jayhawks.

“Just gotta get better,” he said. “I just want to compete. I think we have a young group that hasn’t reached their potential yet. We haven’t shot the ball well in a couple of weeks, so I don’t think we’ve really played up to our capabilities. I’m just hoping to come to practice, get better, get better, and who knows? Just compete, play hard and see what happens.”

BU is no stranger to facing highly ranked teams. Early in the season, the Terriers were beaten by then-No. 6 Villanova, 82-66, and, in late November, lost, 91-57, at then-No. 10 Kentucky.

BU and KU will meet Friday in Tulsa, with the winner moving on to take on the winner of the 8-9 match-up between UNLV and Illinois on Sunday.

• Boston University journalism student Rene Reyes contributed to this report.

Comments

BUAlumFrom01 3 years, 1 month ago

As a BU alum, I'd like to address a few of the posts here.

  • Anyone who talked about the city of Boston rooting against BU is wrong. BU basketball is not a major college team in the area so folks don't give a bleep. At least it will be enjoyable for the school's students, staff, alums, etc.

  • Anyone who thinks BC is the darlings of New England is deadly wrong as well. Pro sports are king up here; all college sports are second tier. I personally hate them but I am man enough to admit that I definitely have personal bias against them. (The only bad thing about the Green Line - B is having to sit next to BC students.)

  • This may sound weak to say on the Kansas site, but its the truth. As far as BU and its fans go, it is an accomplishment just to make the tournament. When you play in the American East conference, not much is expected. You get tired of watching your team in the NIT or CBI.

Which leads to my next point...

  • I'm surprised no one has mentioned this yet, but to me, the key to this game is this:

ALL OF THE PRESSURE IS IN THE KANSAS JAYHAWK LOCKER ROOM.

Do I expect BU to win? Of course not. Do I expect the game to be close? Of course not. But that's what makes it interesting to me... If BU loses by 50, so what? They will still look at this year as a successful season. If KU wins by 50, they were expected to do so. After all, you are the almighty basketball gods of Kansas, am I right? Titans of the game... Dynastic proportions...

Will your boys from Kansas tighten up? They have done it before in early rounds against inferior opponents...

How long will we go before seeing a 16 beat a 1? We have seen 15's beat 2's... is there that much of a difference?

I always thought the opening games would be the most anxious for a #1 seed and its fans. Not necessarily the toughest games, but the games where the most is at stake (or potentially squandered if an upset were to happen). Once the 1st game is out of the way, the team is able to relax and concentrate on more respected opponents (and where being bounced out of the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th rounds wouldn't look as bad as a 1st round exit -- see: Louisville).

If Kansas makes it to the Final Four and loses to another #1 seed or a #2, they will be able to walk off the court, albeit disappointed, but with heads held high.

If they lose to BU tonight, they may have to leave Kansas. Not leave the university, but physically move out of the state. They will be laughing stocks.

If their first few shots tonight clang off the rim, if I were a KU fan, I'd hope I am not watching a team starting to panic and tighten up.

How many Kansas fans respected Northern Iowa last year? Is it a bigger disappointment to lose to a respected pier or a team barely on the map?

Same way I would feel if BU's hockey team were to lose to the Kansas team (do you guys even have hockey?)...

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Ralster Jayhawk 3 years, 1 month ago

Boston University played 2(two) top10 teams this season and got b-l-o-w-n out both times. Their player says they havent shot well the last 2 weeks...well, lets see if they can get 'healthy' against a tight Self-coached defense? I think not.

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Vittorio1224 3 years, 1 month ago

I taught tennis a couple of summers near Boston while I was @ KU. Two of the greatest summers of my life... healthy rivalry amongst the Boston schools. B.C. very snobby and of course Harvard, rather smug.... but I would concur that BU has some fine chicas! :)

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jaybate 3 years, 1 month ago

P.S.: Would anyone like to have Quintrel now?

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jaybate 3 years, 1 month ago

Nobody seemed to pick up on Quintrel Thomas' quote on a recent thread.

He said he was unhappy at KU, but that's now in the past.

Interesting.

Maybe Self really didn't run him and Tyrone Appleton to make room for the scholie for Xavier.

It sure looked like Self showed them the door and then tried to place at least Thomas.

Wish someone knew the inside scoop on that episode and could share it.

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ChihuahuaHawk 3 years, 1 month ago

As a Christian missionary serving in Mexico, I miss all the KU games. Can anyone suggest a good way to see the games while living outside the States?

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downeaster 3 years, 1 month ago

I see two rather harsh comments about BU, both from Bostonians, on your comments list. Their criticisms are distinct, but they both agree on one important point: BU has too many stops on the local trolley line. Good critical analysis there. One identifies him/herself as a Northeastern alum. Well, there's a healthy rivalry between those schools. As for the other, no affiliation is given, but he/she seems to know that trolley line well. Let's see, where does that line go? Well, it goes out and ends at Boston College, which didn't make it to the NCAA tourney this year. Hmm. Actually I don't think that all or most of Boston will be rooting against BU. In fact, I think that most of Boston won't notice, because BU basketball is not very visible. It's only claim to fame is that it's where Rick Pitino began his coaching career. But Pitino was a hustler even then. He used to write letters to faculty and staff pleading that we attend BU basketball games. But I don't think many went.

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kennethst 3 years, 1 month ago

I think Boston U will be something other than "tickled" after KU is done with them.

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TimmytheJayhawk 3 years, 1 month ago

Possible reasons for the analogy: a. Matt just took a creative writing class b. Lost a bet and had to concoct a sports story with Paul Revere as a main part c. Just read John Adams and his blood was boiling with American Pride d. He such a sports fan that he actually believes that the 2 events belong in the same story. e. Was listening to "Licensed to Ill" when he wrote this (He also drank a LOT of Brass Monkey!) f. His girlfriend/wife cajoled him back to bed by plagurizing a Boston Globe article about the 2004 Red Sox e. Boston University journalism student Rene Reyes contributed to this report

Rock Chalk!

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RockCaCO3 3 years, 1 month ago

Lets go boys, beat BU!!!!!!!!

One game at a time!!

RCJHGKU!

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Doug Merrill 3 years, 1 month ago

He has written it correctly. To have started the sentence with "No" and then used "never" would have been a double negative, indicating that a 16 seed HAS beaten a 1...which none ever have.

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Ian Sadler 3 years, 1 month ago

3rd paragraph, "No 16 seed ever has beaten a No. 1 seed" Ever or Never? error?

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jessejayhawk 3 years, 1 month ago

I wonder if KU will catch all kind of flak from the SPCA and PETA when thet kick the crap out of the Terriers?

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Woody Cragg 3 years, 1 month ago

BU will be wailing BB after this matchup cause "The Thrill (Will Be) Is Gone".

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TanMan 3 years, 1 month ago

I dig the FinalFour logo this year, much better than 2008, and I hope I get to wear it on my Kansas FF & Nat'l Champ shirt this year.

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phog 3 years, 1 month ago

Stony Brook or KU, only difference is one has tattooed thugs.

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Paul Mitten 3 years, 1 month ago

Having lived in Boston for a few of the best years of my life, all I can say is, please beat BU, sap their will, and show them what basketball is all about because seriously, BU sucks and nobody in Boston likes them. They really don't need that many stops on the Green Line and none of their students would be paying $50k a year to go to BU if they got into an Ivy League like their parents expected them to when they spent countless dollars on private high schools and tutoring, only to find that their kids didn't measure up in the end.

:-)

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lawrence_is_my_middle_name 3 years, 1 month ago

"Not since Paul Revere’s midnight ride in the late 18th century have so many eyes been fixed on Boston with survival on the line."

Or since the Red Sox were down 3 games to the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS and won the series, or any number of other Boston-related sporting events throughout the years that were and still are much more important than Boston University's NCAA Tournament birth. This sentence has no truth whatsoever.

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ahpersecoachingexperience 3 years, 1 month ago

hello time change. phx back to west coast time and ahper back on top of the comments. fire turner gi. . .nah, won't go there today. let's do this hawks! schedule looks good to go for houston

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