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Miami 73, Boston College 64: Margin Of Error Shrinking For Eagles

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Needing a win to bolster its dwindling NCAA Tournament hopes, the Eagles laid a big ol' first-half turd last night.

BC finished the first half with just 17 points, shooting 30 percent (11 percent from three), grabbing zero offensive rebounds and scoring all of six points in the paint. No BC player had more than three points going into the half. On the other end of the floor, the Eagles shaky defense allowed the Hurricanes to shoot 53.6 percent in the first half (50 percent from three), grab six offensive rebounds and score 14 points in the paint.

This team certainly has its flaws -- porous defense, susceptible to streaky shooting, no inside game, not to mention significant minutes being given to three walk-ons -- but you can't blame any of those things for the lack of effort in the first half.

At least the lack of effort didn't go unnoticed by Donahue and the players. Reggie Jackson ... disgusted:

"Like I said, I believe we were all disgusted. It was probably one of our poorest efforts. ... [We] did absolutely everything wrong. Knowing the talent that we had, and seeing our faces, seeing our demeanor, it was a piss-poor effort.

Obviously, they were more physical. I believe Johnson got three and-one's. When we foul it seems like we're playing pitty-pat with our girlfriends. When they foul us, obviously we end up on our backs. That's the difference. You just have to man-up."

BC went into halftime down three touchdowns.

The Eagles did turn things around early in the second half, going on a 19-5 run. Despite strong second halves by Joe Trapani -- 16 points, 11 rebounds -- and Reggie Jackson (15 points), it wasn't enough as BC falls to 16-11 overall and a game below .500 in ACC play with three to go.

Every time the Eagles got the 'Canes lead down to a manageable figure, Miami's Reggie Johnson dominated in the paint. BC effectively had no answer for Johnson, who scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half, including back-to-back three-point plays to keep BC's second half run in check.

The loss is a serious setback to Boston College's NCAA Tournament hopes, but all is not lost. Plenty of NCAA Tournament bubble teams also lost last night -- VCU, Nebraska, Baylor, Michigan, Colorado State -- some getting embarrassed on national TV. Our game was in Raycom-vision on TheACC.com. Hopefully the Selection Committee didn't notice? The rules have changed this year, too, with three additional at-large berths and an extremely weak bubble.

The Eagles still have strong resume numbers (highest SOS in conference, strong RPI) and three more chances to notch wins in the ACC regular season, plus at least a game in the ACC Tournament. So don't go accepting BC's invite to the NIT for them just yet. That said, the margin of error for the Eagles is paper-thin at this point, and BC will need to finish strong against Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest if they have any hopes of dancing this year.