BC’s season will continue in March! The Eagles capped off a surprising and successful regular season by being selected to play in the NIT. The invitation is obviously a big step for a program that won only six ACC games over the past three seasons.
The Eagles will head on the road in round one to play Western Kentucky, the tournament runner-up in Conference USA. The Hilltoppers are 24-10 overall and went 14-4 in conference.
Western Kentucky is a pretty historic basketball program and had its share of success this year which includes wins over teams in the Big Dance. The Hilltoppers knocked off Purdue back in November, Wright State in December and Marshall twice in conference play.
The match-up is intriguing as both teams are quite efficient on offense. According to KenPom.com, WKU has the 50th most efficient offense in the country and 48th highest effective FG%. The Hilltoppers offensive strategy is to take the ball to the rim as evident by extremely high amount of free throw attempts (15th highest) and low amount of three point attempts (21st least in country). This is a very important stat to remember as the three point line is being moved back in NIT play this year. It’s clear the rule wont effect the Hilltoppers much.
The good news for BC is WKU has some big time defensive issues especially defending the three. The Hilltoppers allowed 36.3% from three this year which was 246th nationally.
If BC can get by Western Kentucky it would most likely head west to take on USC. The Trojans were one of the major snubs from March Madness and could either come out super motivated for the NIT or not care. We should get a feeling for USC’s motivation after its first game against UNC Asheville.
Below are complete match-ups from BC’s bracket:
- No. 1 USC hosts No. 8 UNC Asheville
- No. 4 Western Kentucky hosts No. 8 Boston College
- No. 3 Stanford hosts No. 6 BYU
- No. 2 Oklahoma State hosts No. 7 Florida Gulf Coast