Jimmy Kelley is an ACC correspondent for Rush the Court. Follow him on Twitter @DevilsinDurham
Conte Forum is a hockey arena masquerading as a basketball court. The banners in the rafters tell the stories of Boston College’s rink-related exploits while Doug Flutie’s Heisman Trophy sits in one endzone. But for forty minutes the arena doubles as a proving ground for the best teams in the ACC as Steve Donahue’s team shed the stigma of its 2-7 conference record and pushed the conference’s upper echelon teams to the brink. Just two years into Donahue’s tenure, the Eagles are starting to have the look of a real problem team, at least at home.
Boston College opened ACC play by pushing NC State to the brink of an upset before eventually falling to the Wolfpack, 78-73. Then, 11 days later, the Eagles welcomed a red-hot Miami team into Conte and were a missed Olivier Hanlan free throw away from taking the Hurricanes to overtime. Finally on Sunday the Eagles pushed the #4 Duke harder than they pushed the previous two, actually leading late in the second half before falling by one. Three top-tier teams, three losses, a total point differential of seven points. Not bad for a team led by underclassmen.