We all know that it's a college hockey tradition, the Boston Beanpot...why not have one for college basketball?
A nonconference tournament in February to prep for the final weeks of the regular season and the conference tournaments. It’s not like the conference season is boring, but if hockey's got this tournament then basketball should too.
Well, this could be a great opportunity for some teams to play against teams that they could possibly be facing in the postseason tournaments, such as the NIT or NCAA tournament.
I know what you saying...there is no time for this! Well, other possible times would be in November or December, but it'd most likely defeat the purpose. It's no easy to have the tournament, but there has got to be a time for it...maybe even early January.
I understand that the hockey tournament only has four teams. For basketball, it would be expanded to 12 teams in order to ensure a more competitive tournament. In hockey the best teams are primarily from the northeast Boston College: Boston University, UMass, etc.
Because it's called the Beanpot, the tournament has to be held in Boston. It would make sense to only invite teams from Massachusetts, but in order to create a more competitive tournament we will stick to the entire northeast.
Teams that will participate are Boston College, Holy Cross, Boston University, Northeastern, UMass, Vermont, UConn, Rhode Island, Harvard, Georgetown, Providence and Villanova.
The field allows for some lesser teams, while also adding some of the elite. In addition there are several teams from the Boston area including BC, Holy Cross, BU, Northeastern, Harvard and UMass.
UConn, Villanova, Georgetown, and Boston College (received more votes than Holy Cross, but not ranked in Top 25) will receive first round byes based on their preseason rankings.
The tournament will be double elimination format.
URI @ PC, winner plays at UConn
Northeastern @ Boston, winner plays at Boston College's Conte Forum, which will serve as a neutral court if needed
Harvard @ Holy Cross, winner hosts Georgetown
Vermont @ UMass, winner plays Villanova (Vermont win, at Conte Forum/ UMass win, at UMass)
Game one would feature Rhode Island facing off against Providence College at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, RI. This game will be played at Providence for convenience and attendance reasons. The winner of this one will play at Connecticut.
Northeastern would steal one on the road from Boston and Harvard would handle Holy Cross. UMass and Vermont would play a tight one, but it would end with Vermont winning by 12.
Providence College, Boston, Holy Cross, and UMass move into the loser’s bracket.
Providence College @ Boston, winner plays winner of...
UMass @ Holy Cross
Providence College pulls out a hard fought road win at Boston and UMass gets the best of Holy Cross on the road. This sets up Holy Cross and BU in the consolation game.
URI @ UConn
Northeastern @ BC
Georgetown @ Harvard
Vermont v Villanova @ Conte Forum
URI pulls one of the upsets in this round, the other being URI over Georgetown. In other action, BC and Villanova blow out their opponents respectively.
Providence @ UMass
Boston @ Holy Cross
In the losers bracket, it's Providence rolling past UMass on the road and Boston defeating Holy Cross on their home court.
UMass and Holy Cross have been eliminated from the tournament. Holy Cross went 0-3 and UMass was 1-2.
The next round of the loser’s bracket showcases the following games:
Providence College v UConn at Conte Forum
Northeastern hosts Georgetown
Vermont at Boston
UConn gets half of their revenge on the state of Rhode Island by eliminating Providence. PC finishes 2-2.
Georgetown runs past Northeastern, eliminating them at 1-2.
Vermont wins a nail biter at Boston to stay alive. BU is eliminated at 1-3.
Back in the winner’s bracket:
BC hosts URI
Harvard hosts Villanova
Boston College wins on a game winning three by Joe Trapani and Jeremy Lin's 33 against Nova aren't enough.
So, in the winners bracket, BC is set to host Villanova, both are 2-0. In the loser’s bracket, UConn will play Georgetown at Conte...the winner plays the loser of the BC Villanova game. Vermont will play URI; the winner will play Harvard in the next round.
How it went down...UConn eliminates G'Town at 1-2 and URI eliminates Vermont at 2-2. Boston College has a rough showing at home and falls to Villanova, who waits in the championship game.
Back to the loser’s bracket:
UConn and BC play at Conte
URI plays at Harvard...both are elimination games.
BC pulls off a huge win at home in front of a sold out Conte Forum, while URI beats Harvard in the game of the tournament. Harvard blows a 20 point lead with 12 minutes left and URI wins by 5. UConn is done at 2-2 and Harvard finishes at 2-2.
Villanova waits patiently for their next opponent. Whoever it is will have to beat them twice in a row, on a neutral court.
BC and URI played another great game, but URI what had done to Harvard, BC did to them. BC and Villanova will meet again for the second and possibly third time in one week. URI finishes at 5-2 in a very impressive showing.
Game 1 is to be played at the Conte Forum, while Game 2 is slated to be played at the TB Boston Garden. In game One, the Conte crowd, which isn't known for its hostility, is aiding BC more than ever. They want their squad to win the first ever Beanpot...and they have a chance pulling off an upset of Villanova.
Game 2 would be a different story...the crowd wasn't nearly as rowdy and Villanova cruised to a 20 point victory to become the first ever Basketball Beanpot champions!
The final standings are as follows:
1. Villanova 4-1
2. Boston College 5-2
3. Rhode Island 5-2
4/5 Harvard/ UConn 2-2
6. Vermont 2-2
7. Georgetown 1-2
8. Providence 2-2
9. Northeastern 1-2
10. UMass 1-2
11. Boston 1-3
12. Holy Cross 0-3
If you're wondering why Providence is below Georgetown, it's because Georgetown lasted one more round than PC.
Overall, I'd say this would be worth it, but reconsidering it, it would have to be held even before the season starts, like during exhibition season, so that would be around November 1-8.
Host Sites are Boston College's Conte Forum, Holy Cross, Dunkin Donuts Center, UConn, UMass, Boston University, Northeastern, Harvard, and TD Bank Boston Garden.
It seems unfair that BC hosted a lot of their games, but it's the Beanpot and the local teams should be slated to host, so if you're Villanova, you need to understand that before you accept your bid.
It seems ridiculous right? Well, that’s the price you got to pay for national attention to northeast basketball.
Thanks for reading and I appreciate some thoughts on format, dates, teams, locations, television, and general topics...
Last article I wrote I mentioned that everyone should say a prayer for BC against Miami and they won, so let’s try it again...
Everyone out there, say a prayer for BC against Virginia Tech on Saturday!
I know, I'm a BC fan and I had them beating some good teams they never should have...hmm Villanova, just payback for 2006, shh! How bias!
Look forward to seeing your thoughts!