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Thursday's BC-UConn battle could start regular rivalry

By Jeff Borzello | College Basketball Writer

BC head coach Steve Donahue wants to see the Eagles and Connecticut play more often. (USATSI)
BC head coach Steve Donahue wants to see the Eagles and Connecticut play more often. (USATSI)

Given their general proximity within the New England area, it wouldn't surprise anyone to see Connecticut and Boston College have a rivalry.

However, the two teams haven't met since 2005, and it's taken the 2K Sports Classic to get them together. On Thursday, UConn and Boston College will face off at Madison Square Garden in the event's semifinals.

If head coaches Steve Donahue and Kevin Ollie have their way, they could start playing each other more often than every eight years.

“They're a good program and we're both from up in this area,” Donahue said on a conference call on Tuesday, according to The Day. “I just think it makes sense that we play each other. I have great respect for what they've accomplished in basketball, really one of the great programs in the country over the last 15 years.”

Donahue also said that the Boston College fanbase has been fired up about the opportunity to play their potential regional rivalry.

“It's obviously something that really excites our fan base, there's no doubt,” Donahue said. “Honestly, I think like any rivalry, you're going to get some real passionate feelings about it. I think both sides would say we want to play each other. It makes a lot of sense. That's really the resounding opinion I get.”

Interestingly enough, it was announced on Wednesday that both programs will participate in the 2014 Puerto Rico Tip-Off. Charleston, Dayton, George Mason, New Mexico, Texas A&M and West Virginia will join them.

Connecticut is off to an impressive 4-0 start, while Boston College has struggled to a 1-3 beginning. The Eagles held off Florida Atlantic for their first win on Sunday, but they get a chance to get on the right track against the Huskies. The perimeter battle between Olivier Hanlan and UConn's loaded backcourt will be fun to watch.

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