The OC: Boston College

USA TODAY Sports

At long last, the matchup New England has been waiting for.

Husky fans have had this one circled on their calendars since the date was announced over the summer, and now, at long last, the wait is finally over. In three weeks, UConn and Boston College will finally meet in an actual athletic competition, reigniting the long dormant rivalry and giving fans at both schools a fresh chance to hack each other apart.

Truth be told, I think most people would prefer to see these two schools face off on the gridiron, but the fact remains that this will be the first time UConn and Boston College basketball have met since January of 2005, and after years of bitterness, lawsuits and backroom politics, UConn will finally have a chance to lay the smack down on the school who many could argue is the reason why UConn isn't already in the ACC.

Fittingly, the game will be played at Madison Square Garden, and the winner will advance to face either Indiana or Washington in the 2K Sports Classic final. The game will be played on Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN2.

Last season

16-17 (7-11 ACC), Missed postseason.

BC had a very young team last season, but despite their youth the Eagles did play pretty well at times. Throughout the course of the season, the Eagles stole a couple of a couple of quality wins while narrowly missing a handful of colossal upsets, including a one-point losses to both Duke and Miami in Chestnut Hill.

Unfortunately, the Eagles were fairly inconsistent and generally couldn't match up with the talent and experience fielded by the rest of the ACC. A 1-6 start to conference play in the month of January put the Eagles in a hole early, and even though they finished strong with three-straight wins to close the regular season, BC ultimately did not have a strong enough resume to warrant a postseason look after they fell to Miami 69-58 in the ACC Tournament.

How they look

The good news for BC is that just about everyone who contributed to last year's team is coming back. Junior forward Ryan Anderson figures to be the star of the team, he averaged 14.9 points per game a year ago and was the team's most consistent rebounder by a fairly wide margin at 8.0 rebounds per game, and sophomores Joe Rahon and Oliver Hanlan showed great promise as freshmen last year as well.

The biggest weakness for this BC team remains rebounding. Outside of Anderson, the man the Eagles will be counting on most inside should be junior center Dennis Clifford, who is a big body at 7-foot-1, 250 pounds, but only started about half of the Eagles' games last year and averaged just 2.8 points and 3.2 rebounds per game. Junior forward Eddie Odio will also be leaned on heavily inside at 6-foot-8, 209 pounds, but like Clifford, he was only a part time player last year who will need to step up in a big way for the Eagles to have a realistic chance to compete in the ACC.

Projected Starting Lineup

G- Joe Rahon (6-foot-2, So., 10.1 PPG, 3.2 RPG)

G- Lonnie Jackson (6-foot-4, Jr., 8.7 PPG, 2.7 RPG)

G- Oliver Hanlan (6-foot-4, So., 15.4 PPG, 4.2 RPG)

F- Ryan Anderson (6-foot-9, Jr., 14.9 PPG, 8.0 RPG)

C- Dennis Clifford (7-foot-1, Jr., 2.8 PPG, 3.2 RPG)

Prediction

Boston College fans have a lot to be optimistic about in the future, but this team is probably at least another year away from being a real NCAA Tournament threat. That being the case, UConn should win this game, but if Anderson, Hanlan and Rahon all play well, it could end up being closer than most would expect. My prediction: UConn wins 69-65.

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