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First Look At North Carolina: A Must Win For The Eagles' NCAA Tournament Hopes?

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Brian: The Eagles and Tar Heels enter Tuesday night's ACC tilt coming from very different directions. BC was a bit exposed down in Durham, while the Heels are coming off a 20-point drubbing of their in-state rivals Wolfpack. The win was North Carolina's ninth straight over N.C. State.

Freshman phenom Harrison Barnes scored 25 points and forward John Henson registered 16 points, 16 boards and 7 blocks in the victory. Meanwhile, BC's star guard Reggie Jackson is coming off arguably his worst performance of the season, shooting just 3-11 from the field (0-4 from three) and scoring just 7 points.

After three straight ACC wins, the Heels have almost quietly taken sole possession of second place in the ACC, while BC has dropped two straight in conference play to fall back into a tie with Clemson for fourth place.

Two teams. Very different directions.

After hearing about the Eagles being a lock for the NCAA Tournament, we are now hearing talk of being a bubble team when Selection Sunday rolls around. So is Tuesday night's home game against the Heels a must win if Donahue and the Eagles have any hopes of returning to the Dance? Your thoughts?

Jeff: Absolutely NOT a must win for the Eagles. If they lose, you can still look at the rest of the schedule and see that there will be no more ranked opponents aside from another game against North Carolina and you could see the Eagles going 5-3 easily with the potential of finishing even better than that. Also, the Eagles still have a very good RPI. After losing to Duke on Thursday, they were still #30 in the country. The loss to Harvard is not looking so bad now as they are fighting to get into the top 50 in RPI.

I would much rather be talking on Wednesday about an Eagles victory, but this game is not a must for the NCAA tournament. Also, let's keep things in perspective and remember that even being a bubble team would be a great accomplishment considering what we thought we'd get going into this season.