This is why we can't have nice things, Boston. Fans turned out in droves for the first-ever Patriot League final appearance for the Boston University Terriers and they were welcomed by one of the worst offensive performances I've seen in a long, long time. The Terriers shot 16-for-52 from the field, including a woeful 1-for-17 from three, while the American Eagles went along their merry way, scoring a 55-36 win and a return trip to the NCAA Tournament.
To be clear, I am not taking any credit away from American. The Eagles played extremely well on both ends of the floor and earned the Patriot League crown going away. But BU barely put up a representative effort and fans of both the team and the conference were left wanting just a little bit more. Not much, just a little.
Instead, we got a 1-for-10 performance from D.J. Irving, a 2-for-8 showing from John Papale, and a combined 1-for-10 night from Travis Robinson and Cedric Hankerson. All of that, and we still haven't talked about Mo Watson Jr. turning the ball over seven times.
BU did not rise to meet the opportunity they were given, missing out on the open looks they were able to generate. But let's be clear once again: the main reason so many looks were either a) bad or b) contested were a direct result of an amazing defensive performance by American.
It actually felt at one point like BU was going to make a push. With 13:58 left to play and a seven point lead, Tony Wroblicky picked up his third foul. Here was the other team's best interior player now saddled with foul trouble and the lead within a few possessions. Naturally, he has to go to the bench and the Terriers could make a run!
That wasn't the case, though. No, Wroblicky stayed on the floor, coach Mike Brennan hid him in the back of a suffocating zone defense, and he didn't pick up another foul the rest of the game. Meanwhile, BU managed just 12 more points while American scored 24.
Wroblicky and Darius Gardner were fantastic all game and the numbers back that up. The two combined for 33 points, 11 rebounds and six assists while seeming to have an answer every time BU tried to make a push, deflating the Agganis Arena with either a big bucket, a drawn foul or a well-placed pass.
Harping on the unpredictability of the Patriot League seemed like it had finally run its course as No. 1 and No. 2 reached the final game, but if anyone saw BU scored 36 points or American winning by 19 points they must know something nobody else did. Don't ever change, Patriot League.