What Was His Name? Boston College Edition
I was torn while watching Georgia Tech and Boston College battle it out for the right to play North Carolina in the second round of the ACC Tournament on Wednesday (really Tar Heels? Wednesday?). One one hand, the Yellow Jackets offered a much more favorable matchup if the past two games were any indication as Carolina won by an average of 30.5 points. However, I didn’t want Georgia Tech to be the subject of a second “What Was His Name” feature in three games. You can’t hog all our bandwidth, bees.
Nonetheless, Georgia Tech did what it does and lost a close game. The Jackets finished the season 0-9 in ACC games decided by five points or fewer. Good job, good effort, Brian Gregory. Therefore it is with both anxiety and excitement that I turn to the Boston College Eagles as the subject of this edition of “What Was His Name.”
Anxiety because the Eagles posses one player who simply has that look. Tar Heel fans know that look. It’s the look of a guy who is primed to go off and beat a fragile Tar Heel team by himself. Harold Arceneaux and Randolph Childress are prime examples of players who had that look against Carolina in postseasons past.
This guy is Olivier Hanlan. The leading scorer in the conference and first team All-ACC guard is averaging a meager 25.4 points per game over his the past 11 games, including a stout 30 against the Tar Heels back on February 7. In honor of Hanlan and all the damage he is capable of inflicting on Wednesday, let’s take a look back at a former Boston College Eagle who unleashed his scoring wrath on Carolina multiple times.
Allow me to reintroduce you to Tyrese Rice.
Rice played at Boston College from 2006-09, scoring 20 or more points against Carolina four times. However, two games stand out. It can be easy for Tar Heel fans to forget games against the Eagles, as Carolina has won 10 of the past 12 games in the series, with every win coming by double-digits since 2011. However, two games against Rice-led teams should be engrained in the memory of every Carolina fan.
The first came in March 2008. Rice scored a measly 34 points in the the first half against the No. 2 Carolina on his way to dropping 46 points. That’s right, folks. THIRTY-FOUR POINTS IN THE FIRST HALF! EIGHT THREE-POINTERS IN THE FIRST HALF! The Tar Heels were down as many as 18 early in the second half before Tyler Hansbrough, Wayne Ellington and company led a comeback win to lessen Rice’s place in Carolina opponent lure.
Rice would make sure his name would be brought up in posts like this the following season when he and his Eagles came out of the Smith Center with a win over the eventual national champion Tar Heels. It was the first loss of the season for No. 1 Carolina, and all hell broke loose among the supposed Tar Heel faithful after that game. As if Rice’s 46 the year before weren’t enough, he added eight assists to go along with his 25 points this time around.
Don’t go all Tyrese Rice on us, Olivier Hanlan. Don’t you do it.