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Previewing and Predicting Boston College Men’s Basketball vs. Syracuse

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Boston College v Louisville Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

At 3-4 in the ACC, Boston College stands firmly in the middle of the pack in the conference. If they have any hopes of moving off the bubble and into the NCAA tournament, they will need to cement themselves firmly as one of the eight best teams in the conference, something they can do with a win in the Carrier Dome tonight.

Keys to the Game

Showing the ability to win, not just compete, on the road will be crucial for the Eagles down the stretch of the season. Not being able to capitalize on either the UVA or the Louisville games could come back to haunt the Eagles come Selection Sunday. To get a win, Jim Christian will need to figure out a way to get his players in good spots against Syracuse’s famous 2-3 matchup zone. In the limited offensive looks against zone this year, the Eagles have done a good job of getting Jerome Robinson the ball at the high post and letting him operate from there. If they can do that, allowing Ky Bowman and Jordan Chatman to spot up on the perimeter, they may be able to hit enough 3-pointers to stay in the game for all 40 minutes. However, if they get too trigger happy from the outside, they could be playing right into Syracuse’s hands and it could be a very long game.

Syracuse’s Strengths

Syracuse is a very long team, which makes their zone defense very dangerous and difficult to maneuver. Both of their guards, Tyus Battle and Franklin Howard, are 6’5”, the type of length than can give Ky Bowman trouble. However, like the Eagles, the Orange are not very deep. If Bowman and Robinson can push the tempo and get out in transition, the Eagles may be able to wear down the Orange’s slim rotation.

Orangemen To Watch Out For

Tyus Battle is the best offensive player for the Orange, currently projected as a first round pick in June’s NBA Draft. He is currently averaging 19.8 points per game.

Predictions

Matt: 82-75 Syracuse

Katie: 70-68 BC

Toppin: 67-63 BC

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