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Boston College Basketball: Bubble Watch

NCAA Basketball: Boston College at Virginia Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles launch into 2018 fully in the bubble conversation after a December upset over Duke. It has been quite a few years since BC fans have been able to engage in this kind of topic so we will keep the fun going for as long as BC remains in the bubble conversation or at least within striking distance:

Big Wins (especially on the road or on a neutral)

The selection committee has put a premium on victories over elite teams in the past few years. It feels like the committee would rather you see you beat one elite team rather than 5 different teams ranked 50-100. That is good news for BC as it has arguably the best win of any team in the country right now over Duke, who remains the favorite in Vegas to win the title.

The Eagles will have to add to this category because the 2nd best win (going by RPI rankings) was over LaSalle, which is ranked 119th right now. In fact, LaSalle and Central Connecticut are the only teams BC has defeated which have a winning record. As you can see, the loss at Virginia was a huge missed opportunity.

Bad Losses

Going strictly by the numbers, BC doesn’t have any bad losses yet. Virginia obviously is having a great season and is expected to continue doing so Texas Tech and Providence are both inside the RPI Top 50, while Nebraska sits at 92.

Nebraska is the team that BC has to be the most concerned about in terms of being a bad loss. The Huskers are 10-5 but face a really tough stretch ahead with 3 of 4 on the road which include trips to Northwestern, Purdue and Penn State. Nebraska will be heavy underdogs in all three matchups. Nebraska will host a decent Wisconsin team in that stretch and need to find a way to at a minimum go 1-3 so the season doesn’t get away in January.

Good Losses

Aside from Virginia, Texas Tech might be the most intriguing team among BC’s losses right now. The Red Raiders are 12-1 and are a favorite of the computer analytics. KenPom currently has Texas Tech at #7 right now. The Red Raiders have a showdown tonight with Kansas, so BC fans know who to root for there.

Providence has been sliding a bit of late losing 4 of its last 8 games. The Friars have Marquette and Xavier visiting this week and would love to grab two quality wins at home.

Opportunities Ahead

The Eagles are coming up to a five games stretch where the team will have to find a way to go 3-2 to stay on the bubble. Anything less than that and Jim Christian’s squad will find itself on the outside looking in for the time being. The good news is that BC has four-of-five of those games at home against Clemson, Wake, Dartmouth and FSU so the opportunity is there to build on something and pick up another quality win.

Aside from Dartmouth, Wake is the weakest team of that bunch sitting 8-6 and ranked 100th in RPI. BC will be favored to win both of these games and really should win both if the team is for real.

From there, BC will need to upset Clemson or FSU at home or UNC on the road. All three teams are firmly tournament teams at the moment.