Fresh off winning the America East Conference Championship, the Terriers of Boston University have qualified for the NCAA Men's Basketball Division I Tournament.
BU has been on quite the roll since the new year was rung in, losing only four of their last 19 contests on their way to adding another AEC Championship to their collection. Senior John Holland played a pivotal role in reaching this feat, with the New York native providing his own fourteen point run to bring the Terriers back from a 15 point deficit against Stony Brook University. Holland would prove to be the hero for BU in this contest, not only bringing his team back into the game, but coming through at the free throw line with just seconds remaining and sealing a Terrier victory.
Holland was Boston's MVP of the AEC Championship Game, but the Terriers also worked well as a team, going 24-29 at the free throw line collectively and providing few chances for the Seawolves to reach it to the line. Dom Morris also provided a key basket for the red and white with just under a minute remaining; he also contributed eight rebounds over the course of the match-up.
On the shoulders of players like Morris and Holland, Boston University's basketball program qualified for the NCAA tournament for the seventh time in their program's history, drawing the unlucky number 16 seed.
BU finds itself placed in the South West conference in a second round match-up against Division I powerhouse and South West's number one seeded Kansas. The Jayhawks come into this upcoming Friday's contest fresh off winning the Big 12 Championship and looking to avenge last season's tournament loss to Northern Iowa.
History is not on the side of the Terriers, as no 16 seed has ever knocked off a one seed in the history of the tournament. Vegas odds have the Jayhawks as 22.5 point favorites heading into the game and with such a talented roster at the disposal of Kansas Head Coach Bill Self, there's little reason to argue with the oddsmakers.
When looking at the statistics, both teams are almost equal in terms of average allowed but there is a 17 points difference between average points scored in favor of Kansas. In fact, every other statistic other than points allowed is heavily in favor of the number one seed. BU has not favored well when put to the test against the big names in Division I this season either, being blown out on the road against Kentucky and Villanova.
Give credit to the Terriers and their Head Coach Patrick Chambers for putting together an impressive 2011 run and taking home their conference title, but it would be the greatest upset in the history of college basketball if Boston could somehow manage to edge out one of the top teams in the country. Expect the talented John Holland and his teammates to put together a valiant effort against the Jayhawks, but ultimately all signs point to Kansas taking the victory and advancing into the next round of tournament play.