Losing to Providence to open the season was understandable; the Friars, like the Eagles, entered the season with higher expectations than in past years, and in a 50-50 game decided in overtime, one team had to lose. Falling to UMass at the Garden was disappointing, after BC led by eight early in the second half; but the Minutemen have looked great this season, Chaz Williams hit some crazy shots, and sometimes those things happen against good teams.
But there are few positives to take from losing to Toledo, at home, by blowing an eight-point lead in the final four minutes tonight. Now, the Eagles are 0-3, and with a brutal schedule in non-conference and ACC play ahead, BC’s hopes of reaching the NCAA tournament — or getting to 20 wins, or whatever measuring stick you want to use for this season — are bleaker than they were a week ago.
Toledo isn’t just some random mid-major — it was picked to win its division of the MAC — so this isn’t quite last year’s loss to Bryant, or the previous year’s loss to BU, or the year before that’s loss to Yale. But none of the preseason projections had Toledo as a top-100 team, and it’s certainly not an opponent that should be hanging 95 points in 70 possessions at the Conte Forum. Defensive rebounding wasn’t the main issue for the Eagles tonight, as it was in previous games (the Rockets grabbed 10 of 28 missed shots, which is good but not decisive); Toledo simply made shots, shooting 32-for-56 from the floor.
If BC goes out and wins the 2K Sports Classic next week, beating UConn and either Indiana or Washington, its season will look a lot different. But it will take some wins like that to erase the memory of an 0-3 start — the Eagles’ first in exactly 50 years.