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Boston College Men’s Basketball vs. Pittsburgh: Final Thoughts and Predictions

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Boston College v Duke Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Boston College Eagles (11-11, 2-8 ACC) vs. Pittsburgh Panthers (12-12, 2-9 ACC)

This season’s disappointments continued this weekend with a 67-56 loss in the Carrier Dome that would complete the sweep for Syracuse this season. It was the Eagles’ fourth straight loss, and the team added injury to insult with Nik Popovic and Steffon Mitchell both leaving the game with only Mitchell returning. Popovic and/or Mitchell’s absence will be felt if they are unable to start tonight; the team has already struggled replacing the scoring from injured guard Wynston Tabbs. Pitt, meanwhile, is recovering from last year’s winless ACC season with a slow rebuild that has already produced victories over Louisville and FSU.

Keys to Beating Pitt

This is not the 0-19 Pitt team the Eagles handled easily last season. Though they are losers of their last five and fourteenth in the conference, BC has only been able to slightly outperform them and has little margin for error.

Pitt is a small team overall, relying on the freshmen guard trio of Au’Diese Toney, Xavier Johnson, and Trey McGowens for the majority of their scoring and rebounding. Nik Popvic should have a skill advantage inside- if he is good to go, expect a big game from him. If not, JC Reyes will have to look to take advantage of the opportunity. BC’s perimeter players should also have success driving to the basket against a Panther squad without a true shot blocker. While this is a strength for Bowman, Chatman and Herren need to move with the ball as well and not rely on Ky to create their shots.

Panther to Watch

#1 Xavier Johnson. The 6’3” freshman is leading the way for Jeff Capel’s team with 17 points and 4.4 assists per game.

Predictions:

Matt: 80-71 BC

Katie: hate to say it but… 78-75 Pitt

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