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Men’s Basketball Final Thoughts and Predictions: Notre Dame @ Boston College

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Eagles need a win. Can they get one here against a team that’s done worse in conference than them?

NCAA Basketball: Boston College at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Its revenge time! The Boston College Eagles (11-8, 2-5 ACC), who dropped a tough one earlier in the week against Syracuse, have a chance to get back to winning ways AND avenge one of the toughest conference losses in recent memory against Notre Dame (11-10, 1-7). The Irish are at the bottom of the conference and haven’t won a game since their victory over the Eagles on January 12, but 4 of 5 losses have been to ranked teams. Does that mean anything? Absolutely not. But the Eagles should win this one. The Eagles need to win this one. A loss here is both unacceptable and costly, especially at home.

Keys to the Game

We know it from last time, even though Jim Christian refused to do it: push the pace. Notre Dame has virtually no depth, and Ky Bowman is incredibly dangerous in transition. This is not the Notre Dame of a few years ago with Bonzie Colson: BC can win some rebounds and get the outlet pass.

Notre Dame’s Strengths

There are not a ton of strengths (or weaknesses) to this Notre Dame team. They excel at nothing, they fail at nothing. They can play inside-out and out-side in at an average level, which means they have great versatility but no “go-to,” panic button move.

Like really. Nothing jumps out at the stat sheet. John Mooney shoots 50% on threes, but he also only takes like 2 per game. G TJ Gibbs can score, but appears to have lost his outside shot that he hit so well last year. Rex Pflueger could have made this team fun to watch, but he’s injured so who cares? This team is like South Bend: not interesting.

Irish Player To Watch

#33 F John Mooney. Mooney absolutely had his way against Popovic inside in the last game en route to a career high 27 points on 8/13 shooting. He’s kept up that level of play, also adding double digit rebounds in each of his last 5 games.

The return of Steffon Mitchell (who was missing in the last matchup) should give Christian a lot more tools for trying to stop Mooney, or at least slow him down. Steffon’s length should allow better denial on entry passes into the posts as well as giving Pop some rest.

Predictions

Matt: 74-70 ND

Toppin: 75-64 BC

Katie: 78-68 BC

Eric: BC 78 - Nd 73

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