Jeff: Are the Eagles getting hot at the right time or benefiting from playing some weaker competition? During this little three game, end-of-regular-season win streak that BC finished on, several starters performed above their season averages.
Biko Paris shot over 50 percent from beyond the arc ...
Reggie Jackson averaged 20 per game with a 2:1 assist-to-turnover ratio ...
Corey Raji averaged 19 a game ...
Even John Cahill averaged over 6 per game.
Should we be optimistic that some Eagles critical to our overall success are shooting well and taking care of the ball going into the ACC Tournament and beyond?
Brian: Superfans should be cautiously optimistic. I certainly don't want to look past the Wake Forest game, but I think BC showed that they can probably take care of the Deacs regardless of whether guys get hot shooting the ball. However, I figure a solid performance shooting the ball against Clemson on Friday is the only way that BC will have any sort of success against the Tigers.
BC shot 38.3 percent from the field (23-60) against Clemson in our only regular season meeting of the year. That's horrendous. The Eagles shot even worse from beyond the arc, going 9-30 (30 percent). Despite the late rally, it wasn't enough to defeat Clemson, and BC would up losing by 8 points.
I suppose the fact that BC did shoot only 38.3 percent from the floor and lost by single digits is a good sign that the Eagles can knock off the Tigers on Friday. Something as simple as one player like Biko catching fire from three, like he did in the Wake game, could be the difference between winning and losing (Biko went 1-8 from three at Clemson ... and 6-7 from three vs. Wake).
Considering that BC made a guy like Jerai Grant look like the second coming of Shaq, BC needs to exchange 3s for 2s for all the points you figure they'll give up to the Tigers in the paint. A guy like Biko, Trap or Jackson needs to shoot well from the field for the Eagles' to have success.
That said, Clemson's defense is way better than Wake Forest's and Virginia's D, and a bit better than the Hokies' D too. So while it's been nice to see guys having a lot of success against UVa, VT and Wake, Clemson will be the toughest D the Eagles have faced since the game against North Carolina. BC has struggled against really good defenses this year, going 0-5 against the top four defensive programs statistically in conference (Duke, UNC, Florida State and Clemson).
So how do you see this year's ACC Tournament going down? Who wins each game, and who walks away with the ACC Championship?
Jeff: Today, I see the Eagles winning of course. They are double-digit favorites while the lines on the other games are 5 points or less. I also think Virginia Tech might continue their skid and lose to Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech is not a very good team but they have overachieved in the ACC Tournament in recent memory. In the two games I think Miami will win and NC St/Maryland is a tossup. If there's a gun to my head and I have to choose I'll go with NC State.
Tomorrow, I like UNC in the first game easy, then BC over Clemson. It will come down to BC's perimeter shooting so if we shoot well today I'll feel good about tomorrow. At night Duke will win easily as will Florida State.
In the semifinals, I think we'll see a close game between UNC and BC but UNC probably wins. In the second game, I like FSU to continue their undefeated season against conference powers Duke and UNC. Then Sunday will be more of the same with FSU winning it all. The quarterfinals are pretty predictable but today, Saturday and Sunday a lot of games could go either way.