Brian: Badly needing a win to bolster its NCAA Tournament resume, the Eagles came up just a bit short, falling to Carolina 48-46 down in Chapel Hill. Let's start with the Eagles' final possession. Down two points, UNC's Kendall Marshall's shot rattled in and out, and BC's Dallas Elmore corrals the rebound with 35 seconds to play. Shot clock off.
The Eagles get the ball to Reggie Jackson, who brings the ball over the half line with 30 to play. Jackson and Donahue try to call a play, but just as Reggie dribbles towards the basket, Donahue and staff call a timeout.
17.6 seconds left. (Coming out of the timeout, North Carolina had 8 fouls, while BC had the possession arrow.)
After the timeout, Biko Paris gets the ball into Reggie Jackson. Jackson proceeds to dribble around the perimeter and back to the top of the arch, resets, and off the dribble, shoots a 21 footer that rattles in and out.
The rebound bounces out of bounds. 0.3 seconds left. Tar Heel ball. Game.
Do you like the fact that the Eagles went for the winning three, passing up on getting a bucket to push the game to overtime? And what did you think of Donahue's clock management and play that was dialed up for BC's final possession?
Jeff: Absolutely not. With 35 seconds to go, you have to give yourself the opportunity to miss, foul Carolina and hope they only make 1 of 2 free throws, and then still have a chance to hit the three to tie. I didn't like it at all. Donahue had a bad timeout earlier in the second half which waved off a Trapani three, but in his defense, Reggie really didn't make any sort of move until the whistle blew and defenders had relaxed.
Brian: Despite the close call, this one was marked by a lot of ugly basketball. BC shot under 30 percent (26.9) for the first time since 2003, and BC's stars Reggie Jackson and Joe Trapani had woeful afternoon's from the field. Trapani shot just 3-11 and Jackson was 5-19. We keep waiting for the Eagles to turn the shooting around, but it seems to be getting worse. Will BC turn around the poor shooting trend in their final four games of the season?
Jeff: Probably not. BC will shoot well at times and maybe for a half, but there will be too much size and quickness coming at them in our remaining ACC games for BC to get too hot. Let's not forget the size, depth and overall talent disadvantage that this team has going into every ACC contest. Thanks to a little senior leadership and above-average coaching, we've been able to overcome those disadvantages in half of our ACC games so far. With the softer schedule, we could still get to 10 wins in the ACC which would be quite an accomplishment.
Brian: At 16-10, BC is probably currently on the wrong side of the bubble, with the North Carolina game being one of the last best chances to get a quality win. The Eagles' four remaining opponents have RPIs of 66, 151, 58 and 242. So ... BC has to run the table for the rest of the regular season to have any hopes of earning an NCAA Tournament at-large berth, right?
Jeff: If BC runs the table in the regular season, they don't have to sit around on Selection Sunday waiting to hear its name. They'll know that they'll be Dancing. If they win three of four, though, it will be a little dicey and they'll need to win at least a game in the ACC Tournament. This game was hardly make or break for the Eagles. Going into it, if I had asked whether the Eagles have a better chance of beating North Carolina in Chapel Hill or winning their final four games, you probably would've chosen their final four games. I see BC in the tournament this season even though nothing is set in stone at this point. But let's remember where we came from and the fact that we are even thinking about NCAA and guaranteed and NIT berth is a great thing.