Jeff: Let's be honest. BC plays three big games this season and tonight is one of them. Playing at Cameron Indoor on ESPN may very well be our largest television audience of the season with the NCAA tournament looking unlikely at this point. Let's forget about trying to handicap the Eagles' chances of winning tonight but let's just talk about can they show up and keep the game interesting late into the second half. In my opinion, the fact that Duke lost to Georgia Tech is not helping BC's chances to keep things close. Duke is more likely now than before to come out with more intensity and try to put things away early. Do you agree?
Brian: To a point (and thanks for nothing, Georgia Tech). While Duke is pretty much immune from losing streaks, remember that Boston College beat Duke 80-74 last year when Duke was coming off a 101-87 home loss to #3 North Carolina. Will Duke be extra motivated tonight? Sure. But you never know what type of effort you are going to get from the Eagles night in and night out, as they seem to play up or down to their level of competition.
That being said, I would be naive enough to predict a victory in this one. I'm not sure it will even be close. Who (if anyone) will be the Eagles' key for keeping this one close?
Jeff: The key to tonight's game is actually Corey Raji. I think Sanders will give all he can even though he is still not quite back to midseason form since his injury. Trapani will also give a ton of effort and will put up good numbers as long as he is not our only offensive option. But what will Raji give us? The last few games he's gone from our leading scorer to a non-factor. If he can score in the double digits off of his usual slew of offensive rebounds, that could easily be enough to keep BC in the game and give them a chance to make something happen down the stretch.