Jim Christian (Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Jim Christian, formerly of Ohio University, has been hired as the new head coach of Boston College’s men’s basketball program, replacing Steve Donahue, who was fired after four seasons at the helm, during which he accrued a 54-76 record and failed to reach the NCAA Tournament once.

The 49-year-old Christian was not among the names initially rumored to be candidates for the job, the most prominent of which was Harvard’s Tommy Amaker, who will stay with the Crimson for an eighth season. In a teleconference, BC Director of Athletics Brad Bates said that he “brings three remarkable traits to Boston College basketball.”

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Wesley Saunders (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

March Madness rolls on, but the 2013-14 college basketball season is over for the seven Massachusetts Division I teams. Harvard and UMass both took part in the NCAA Tournament, but with very different results, as the Crimson advanced to the Round of 32 while the Minutemen could never get their offense going and were one-and-done.

12th-seeded Harvard traveled to Spokane, Washington, where the Crimson upset fifth-ranked Cincinnati 61-57. Harvard built a seven-point halftime lead and managed to hold off the Bearcats in the second half, thanks in large part to a 43% field goal accuracy versus Cincinnati’s 36%. The Crimson was also more aggressive offensively, as evidenced by the free throw numbers: 17-for-28 (60%) for Harvard, 11-for-16 (68%) for Cincy.

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Steve Donahue (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Boston College Director of Athletics Brad Bates announced on Tuesday that head coach Steve Donahue will not return for the final year of his contract as the Eagles’ head coach. BC was 54-76 in four years under Donahue and failed to make the NCAA Tournament once after doing so seven times between 2001 and 2009.

The Eagles are coming off a very rough season, going 8-24 with a 4-14 record in Atlantic Coast Conference play and losing to Georgia Tech in the first round of the ACC Tournament. BC did, however, make headlines for its upset of then-undefeated Syracuse on February 19, the lone bright spot in the 2013-14 season.

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Chaz Williams (Mary Altaffer/AP)

For the first time since 2007, two Massachusetts teams will play in the NCAA Tournament starting this week, as Harvard and UMass both had their names called on Selection Sunday. Harvard was an automatic qualifier after winning the Ivy League title, while the Minutemen, seemingly a lock earlier in the season, received an at-large bid after losing in the Atlantic 10 Tournament quarterfinals.

UMass started the season very strong, winning its first 10 games and earning its first top 25 ranking since 1998. But the Minutemen went just 10-6 in A-10 play and finished tied for fifth with an overall record of 24-8, three games behind #18 Saint Louis. After defeating Rhode Island 65-61 in the conference tourney’s second round, UMass fell to George Washington 85-77 in the quarterfinals.

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Wesley Saunders (Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe)


Record: 23-4, 10-1 (1st in Ivy League)

Harvard went 7-1 in February to secure its place atop the Ivy League standings, demolishing Penn and Cornell twice each and losing only to Yale on February 8. The Crimson’s seven wins came by a whopping 17.3 points on average, as it took full advantage of the weaker Ivy teams. More importantly, Harvard went 2-1 in a stretch in which it played its three toughest rivals, Brown, Yale and Columbia, in succession. The not-so-good news is that the Crimson’s final three games are once again against those three teams, although it faces that stretch with a two-game lead over Yale. The Ivy League has no tournament, so the regular season champion qualifies directly for the NCAA Tournament.

Harvard has the stingiest defense in the conference, allowing just 59.9 points per game, which ranks 12th in Division I. Shooting guard Wesley Saunders leads the Crimson with 14.1 points and 1.8 steals per game, point guard Siyani Chambers averages 11.1 points and a team-high 4.6 assists, and Medway native Kyle Casey is scoring an even 10 per contest.

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The Eagles celebrated on the Carrier Dome floor after their upset of previously undefeated Syracuse. (AP Photo/Kevin Rivoli)

Boston College handed #1 Syracuse its first defeat of the 2013-14 season, a 62-59 overtime stunner at the Carrier Dome on Wednesday. The win ended a five-game losing streak for a BC team that has only won two games in Atlantic Coast Conference play this season, both against Virginia Tech. It was an emotional victory for the Eagles, who were wearing “DK” patches on their jerseys in honor of longtime sports information director Dick Kelley, who passed away on February 13 after a battle with ALS.

The unlikeliness of BC’s upset is best reflected in the folowing stat: its 19 losses are the most ever by a team to beat the top-ranked team in the AP standings. The Orange had won their first 25 games by an average of 11.8 points, but had beaten their last two rivals, Pittsburgh and North Carolina State, by a total of just three points. In these teams’ first meeting, Syracuse prevailed 69-59 at the Conte Forum on January 13.

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Chaz Williams (Photo courtesy of umassathletics.com)

#21 Massachusetts

Record: 17-3, 4-2 (4th in Atlantic 10 Conference)

UMass climbed as high as number 13 in the AP rankings in January, before dropping two of its last three games of the month and plunging down to number 21, still two spots higher than it was at the end of December. The Minutemen reeled off five straight wins to start 2014, none by more than 10 points, including their first three conference games. Losses at Richmond and at St. Bonaventure, who they’d beaten earlier in the month, left them two games behind #19 Saint Louis in the Atlantic 10 standings.

UMass still owns the highest-scoring offense in the conference at 81.6 points per game, which ranks 41st nationally. Guard Chaz Williams leads the Minutemen in scoring (15.7 points), assists (7.3) and steals (1.5). Power forward Cady Lalanne has 13.5 points per game and a team-leading 9 rebounds and 2.5 blocks. Also averaging double-figure scoring are forwards Sampson Carter (10.8) and Raphiael Putney (10.7).

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