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Boston College Gets Ivy League'd and the Big Finish

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Brian: BC got Ivy League'd last night, as both Yale (men's hoops) and Brown (men's soccer) were victors over the Eagles.

Let's start with basketball. The Yale Bulldogs stunned Donahue and the Eagles 75-67 behind 25 points from Yale's Austin Morgan, who finished the night 6-9 from three point range. While Austin was hot from beyond the arc, BC was not, finishing just 3-19 from 3-point range.

Combine their poor shooting performance last night with a 4-21 performance against St. Francis, and the Eagles are now 7-40 from 3-point range on the young season. When you shoot just 17.5% percent from long range, that's eventually going to catch up with you. Living and dying by the 3 probably isn't the best strategy when you have a thin bench.

Is it time to jump off the Donahue bandwagon, or is it way too soon to write off this season? Your thoughts on last night's loss to Yale?

Jeff: First, we knew the potential of this season had the lowest ceiling since we have been watching/covering BC which is over a decade. So given that, why would you jump off the Donahue bandwagon after two games and one loss to an Ivy League school which the Eagles have managed to do now three years in a row? Also, living and dying by the three is probably a good strategy when you have a short bench because it doesn't require a ton of energy from your players compared to driving the ball and battling inside. We have a small team with no depth so now is not the time to change strategy, it's just time to work on execution.

Last night might be an indicator that this season will be tougher than we had originally imagined, but hopes were not real high so it's not a huge surprise either.

Brian: Not sure I agree about the reliance on the three-point shot. That might be a good strategy against ACC competition, but when you have superior athletes, BC should be exploiting those mismatches instead of chucking up shots from long-range. This strategy is also high risk, high reward. If one player goes cold from three (a la Biko Paris going 0-for-6), the cold streak can quickly spread to the rest of the team. With a short bench, if 1-2 shooters go cold on the night, BC will have a much tougher time winning ballgames. 

It might not be time to change the larger Donahue offensive philosophy, but he'll have to learn to make in-game adjustments based on the opponent. Hopefully, we can chalk this up as a learning opportunity for Donahue and this year's team.


BC men's soccer completed the night of futility against Ivy League opponents, bowing out of the NCAA Tournament in the first round, losing to Brown 2-1. Brown freshman Austin Mandel scored the game-winner to lift the 12-3-3 Bears over the 10-5-5 Eagles.

Unfortunate that the season came to such an abrupt end after the promising season the Eagles had this year.

Jeff: Excuse me for not knowing much about Brown soccer or much about the Eagles for that matter, but I am assuming that since the game was played in Rhode Island that us losing is not a huge surprise. Aside from men's hockey, I think any BC program making the NCAA tournament is a great accomplishment in itself so even though going further would've been nice for the men's team, congratulations to them for a good season.



Big Finish

Brian: Virginia's leading rusher Keith Payne will miss tomorrow's game against BC with a "lower extremity" injury. Big loss for the Cavaliers?

Jeff: You have to throw the ball to beat BC anyways, so not a huge loss.


Jeff: BC enters the week with the highest ranked rush defense in the nation and tied for the nation's lead in interceptions. Where's the love for the Eagles? I only hear about Luke Kuechly.

Brian: The interception total is nice, but the #1 ranked rush defense is the bigger accomplishment I think. Like you said, you have to throw the ball to beat BC. Teams are bound to make mistakes as a result.


Brian: Pre-Snap Read's Paul Myerberg wonders whether the rest of the ACC should root for FSU? Well, should we? 

Jeff: No, no matter who represents the league from the Atlantic Division, they will have had an embarrassing out of conference loss so what is best for the ACC is for Miami or Virginia Tech to dominate in the Championship game.


Jeff: The BC women's soccer team plays West Virginia tonight to advance to the Elite Eight. Do they get it done?

Brian: Yes. The Eagles get through to the College Cup for a rematch with Stanford.


Brian: Boston College, Clemson and Georgia Tech are all playing for bowl eligibility this weekend. How many ACC teams become bowl eligible after Saturday's action? 

Jeff: Two of three. All are favored but I'd be shocked with a sweep.


Jeff: The ACC Coastal Division will be decided tomorrow if Virginia Tech knocks off Miami. Who ya got?

Brian: The Hokies. Virginia Tech becomes the first program in however many years to put together a perfect 8-0 regular season, after they knock off Miami and Virginia next week.


Brian: Last one. Prediction time. Virginia is the only ACC program to have never knocked off the Eagles. Does BC's winning streak over UVA continue tomorrow? Who ya got? What's the final score?

Jeff: Streaks are meant to be broken, but Virginia no longer has hopes of bowl eligibility and I think at the end of the season, we'll be able to say we only lost to teams headed to bowl games. Boston College 23, Virginia 10.


Pick 5

Brian: Last week both Jeff and I went 3-2, marking just the third week where we both finished above .500. On the year, Jeff is 26-29 while I'm a game back at 25-30. (Also, congrats to ATL for getting off the schneid and picking a winner in Maryland last week, and for making our picks look good the last few weeks).

Virginia at Boston College -6.5
Florida State -4 at Maryland
Clemson -13.5 at Wake Forest
N.C. State +2.5 at North Carolina
Virginia Tech -2.5 at Miami


Purdue at Michigan State -20
Troy at South Carolina -22
Duke +12 at Georgia Tech
Stanford -6.5 at California
Ole Miss at LSU -16.5