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Game Preview: Harvard takes on Boston College in city rivalry Sunday

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In the battle for supremacy in Boston area basketball, who will come out on top between Harvard and BC?

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

A Look at Harvard

It’s been a little bumpy out of the gate for the Crimson, which is not surprising. Harvard is a team in transition, and the 2015-16 season has long been projected as a rebuilding year for them. The Crimson enter this season reeling from the loss of 8 players, including the unexpected loss of key contributor Siyani Chambers. Harvard is 1-2 so far on the season.

The Crimson were dominant in their season opening matchup versus MIT, winning 59-39. However, they have struggled against schools from more competitive conferences. Their matchup against Providence saw the Rajon Rondo-esque Friar star point guard Kris Dunn have a career night. He posted a lethal line of 32 points, 6 rebounds, 8 steals and 2 blocks. In case you were wondering, that’s a line that hasn’t been matched by anyone else in college basketball in the past 5 seasons. In their next outing, The Crimson went up against the UMass Minutemen. The combination of UMass big men Rashaan Holloway and Malik Hines proved too much for Harvard, and the Crimson came up short. Still, Harvard has not been blown out in these games, losing by only 12 and 6 respectively.

About Boston College

Like Harvard, Boston College can also be considered a team in transition. For the past couple of seasons, the Eagles have centered their system around guard Oliver Hanlan, who is now playing professionally in Lithuania. In addition to losing Hanlon, BC also lost the next 3 top scorers from last years’ roster. In all, the Eagles lost around 80 percent of their roster from last season, more than almost anyone else in their ACC conference.

So far this season, BC is 2-0. They dominated St. Francis College 75-49 in their opening game. The Eagles never trailed, and it was BC’s biggest win since their last matchup against St. Francis in 2010. The Eagles were lead by graduate student Eli Carter, who dropped 23 points and grabbed 7 rebounds. The Eagles also got a big performance from freshman Jerome Robinson, which is vital because of the roster turnover. Robinson posted an impressive line of 19 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. BC similarly dominated their second opponent, Central Connecticut State, winning by a margin of 25.

Matchup to Watch

Both of those teams are in search of new identities. This will sound obvious, but this game will be decided offensively, simply, by who can find a way to score. Harvard and BC have both lost their leading scorers from last season and are settling in to new rosters.

As was aforementioned, Eli Carter has emerged early on as BC’s offensive go to. A graduate student with one year remaining, Carter transferred to BC from Florida, and also previously played at Rutgers. Between his tenure at Rutgers and Florida, Carter registered 1,000 career points. For The Crimson, Zena Edosomwan appears poised to have a career year. Edosomwan scored only 115 points in total last season. He has already logged 37 points over the course of the 3 games played this season, more than a quarter of last years total.

Fun Fact

When you think of big time college basketball rivalries, UNC-Duke or Kentucky-Louisville might come to mind, but Harvard-BC is a storied rivalry as well. BC has historically dominated the matchup, but since Crimson head coach Tommy Amaker took the helm in 2007-08, the Crimson have won every meeting.

Prediction

BC 70, Harvard 63