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Men’s Basketball Previews and Predictions: Boston College @ #2 Duke

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Can the Eagles make it 2 in a row against Duke? Or will the Blue Devils get revenge?

NCAA Basketball: Duke at Boston College Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

It’s the big one. The Boston College Eagles (11-9, 2-6 ACC) get to go down to Durham and take on the nastiest team in college basketball: the #2 Duke Blue Devils (19-2, 7-1). Led by superstar freshman duo RJ Barrett and Zion Williamson, the Blue Devils have only stumbled against #4 Gonzaga and Syracuse. Aside from that, they’ve been a virtually unstoppable machine, averaging 87.4 ppg with a margin of nearly 20 points. BC’s got their work cut out for them.

Keys to the Game

Duke’s entire starting 5 goes down with norovirus? Cuz that might make this a game.

Realistically, one can turn to the Syracuse game against Duke to see how to beat Coach K and co (BC just doesn’t have the talent to go blow for blow like Gonzaga). In that one, Syracuse shot 44% from deep while the Blue Devils shot just 9-43 from the same. Does BC just have to hope that Duke goes cold at home?

Basically, yeah. In particular, one has to hope RJ Barrett gets to 0 Kelvin and continues to play hero ball, a trend that most scouts aren’t a fan of in the potential #1 pick. In the game against the Orange he went 4/17 (yeah) from three and 8/30 from the field. Frustrate him and BC has a snowball chance in hell, but a chance nonetheless.

Get offensive rebounds, get defensive rebounds, make your rotations, and pray. It’s a lot to ask from a Jim Christian team (except maybe the latter), but this will take everything the Eagles have. There’s no Marvin Bagley III to hinder the Devils with his old fashioned post game and total defensive cluelessness this time, nor is there a Jerome Robinson to drop 50.

Duke’s Strengths

Everything.

Duke’s Weaknesses

Just Barrett getting tunnel vision and calling his own number 25 times in a row.

Blue Devil Player To Watch

For entertainment: Zion. He’s an athletic freak on par with Lebron James, 6-7 285 that jumps like a grasshopper. He’s a permanent mismatch on every player in college basketball, and his dunks might get the BC walk-ons out of their seats. He’s just fun to watch, and he seems to really enjoy playing, a nice change from almost all Duke players ever.

Predictions

Matt: I’m gonna sit this one out

Toppin: 94-64 Duke.

Katie: Duke by 20. This could get ugly.

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