Duke 84, Boston College 68 And The Big Finish

Brian: Jeff was in attendance for BC's 84-68 loss to Duke last night. Let's start with the likes, if there are any. What did you see that you liked from the Eagles performance?

Jeff: I liked that BC covered the spread. It puts the loss in perspective when you realize that BC fared slightly better than Vegas predicted and certainly no worse. BC did play well at times against the Blue Devils but couldn't avoid mistakes for long periods of time to make serious runs. Reggie Jackson played very poorly. If you had told me Reggie was going to play poorly, I would have said we had absolutely no chance to win. When BC looked decent into the second half despite Reggie's performance, I thought that ws one of the biggest positives to take away. Dallas Elmore had a huge game for himself after getting into the starting lineup and Joe Trapani had a nice double-double while Raji was our leading scorer.

We really had a chance to beat Duke up until Cortney Dunn came in the game for his one minute played in the second half. Dunn scored right after coming in but then he needed to help after his man set a screen to open up Curry for a 3. Dunn hedged for a second but then stepped back as Curry was being passed the ball. Curry nailed the 3. Then Dunn turned the ball over on the offensive and compounded the problem by fouling and allowing a 3 point play on the other end. Dunn's stat line reads 1 minute played, 2 points, 2 personal fouls and 1 turnover.

That stat line does not tell the whole story though. BC was down 5 when Dunn single-handedly managed to give up a 6-0 20 second run by Duke. The crowd went from somewhat nervous about BC hanging around to pumped up, and crazy sensing that Duke was suddenly taking control of the game. Duke shot really well from 3 after that as BC tried to gamble a little on defense in order to make plays to cut the lead. Cortney Dunn's one minute is certainly not the reason we lost, but it made things a lot more difficult for the players who were on the court totaling the other 199 minutes.

Brian: Donahue told WEEI that there Cameron Indoor is one of the toughest places to play in the country. How much did the pro-Duke crowd affect the outcome of the game? With Duke pushing the nation's longest home winning streak to 31 last night, will the streak still be in tact when the 2011-12 season tips off?

Jeff: Duke will be heavy favorites for all their remaining home games including against UNC because the ACC just does not have much depth this season. Cameron Indoor is a huge home court advantage for the Blue Devils. Their fans are so into the game and you know players get a little extra nervous playing there versus other road games.

Brian: How can BC rebound from back-to-back ACC road losses over the next four or five games? How do you see the next five games going down, starting with Tuesday night's home tilt with North Carolina?

Jeff: The Eagles can now put their two toughest games of the season behind them. In the last two games, BC played the two best teams in the league both on the road. They now have winnable games the rest of the season and I expect three or four wins over the next five.

 

Big Finish

Brian: Donahue says that BC's basketball transfers almost did the team a "service by being honest and saying, 'This isn't for me.'" Your thoughts?

Jeff: Great way of looking at it. I like Donahue.

 

Jeff: BC goes for the regular season sweep tomorrow night at UMass Lowell? Do York and the Eagles get the W? 

Brian: Yes, and a dominant win could help BC reclaim the top spot in the polls next week, as Yale lost to Union last night.

 

Brian: Football Outsiders has Virginia Tech as one of the top five football teams heading into the 2011 season. Do you?

Jeff: What? Really? No. Do they not realize that they were not a top five team this year and lost a QB and RBs?

 

Jeff: Will BC's Mark Herzlich and Anthony Castonzo improve their draft stock in tomorrow's Senior Bowl?

Brian: Certainly. Heard a lot of really positive things from Mobile.

 

Brian: UCF football took a hit when their defensive coordinator bolted to become the linebackers coach at Wisconsin. Good news for BC next year?

Jeff: I said it earlier in the week, UCF lost a lot going into next year.

 

Jeff: We criticized Anthony Castonzo at times this season but he is back on track for the first round. Surprised?

Brian: Not at all. Castonzo is a great offensive lineman and comes from a long line of great BC linemen.

 

Brian: Last one. Back-to-back ACC losses have put a slight damper on the Eagles' tournament hopes. So how many more wins do the Eagles have to get to feel good about their NCAA Tournament hopes?

Jeff: They need 7 more wins between regular season and ACC Tournament combined. 10-6 with a first-round tournament exit will not get them in.

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