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Men’s Basketball Preview: Boston College Eagles vs. Virginia Cavaliers

BC’s ACC road doesn’t get any easier

NCAA Basketball: Boston College at Duke Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

BC got its bell rung on New Year’s Eve when they went up against Duke and 2020 doesn’t get any easier. BC welcomes in the defending national champion Virginia Cavaliers to Conte Forum. BC defeat at the hands of Duke was not a complete surprise and the Cavaliers certainly present a tough challenge but at least it’ll be a challenge that the Eagles can face at home.


Conte Forum

Chestnut Hill, MA


January 7th, 2020

7:00 PM EST

How to Watch

The game is going to be broadcast on ACC Network, which can be found on channel 612 for DirecTV, 402 for Dish Network, 388 for Spectrum, and for Verizon Fios channel is 329 for standard definition and channel 829 for high-def.

The game will also be available to those subscribed to the ACC Network via the ESPN app.

Furthermore, the ACC Network is available to those with subscriptions to Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV, Sling TV, or Playstation VUE.

You can also find a TV provider with ACC Network by going on

Previewing the Cavaliers

The defending national champs have gotten off to a very good start in the 2019-20 season. Currently ranked 18th in the country Virginia has gotten off to an 11-2 and sit atop the ACC with a 3-0 conference record. The Cavaliers have big wins over North Carolina, Syracuse, and Arizona State. Their two losses have come against Purdue and South Carolina. Virginia under Tony Bennett are defined by methodical, low scoring and physical basketball. Virginia is only scoring 55.8 points per game but giving up just 46.8 points per game. While the Cavaliers don’t score a lot, they are a very efficient shooting team, shooting 41.2% per game. In line with their physical style of play, Virginia out-rebounds their opponents by nearly 5 rebounds per game.

Virginia gets strong guard play out of senior Braxton Key and sophomore Kihei Clark. Their experience front court isn’t anything to scoff at either. 7’1” junior Jay Huff and senior Mamadi Diakite bring size and experience and will test BC, especially if Nik Popovic is still not healthy.

Player to Watch Out For

In the age of one and done’s its rare to see a senior as a team’s centerpiece but that’s just what Mamadi Diakite is. Virginia’s leading scorer with 13.2 points per game and shooting 45.7% from the field and 40.7% from three, the second best 3-pt percentage on the team. Diakite is also second on the team in rebounds with 6.8 and second in steals and blocks. He can pretty much score however he wants to on the floor and BC doesn’t really have any single player who can match up against him.

How Does BC Win?

Speed the game up. Losing to Virginia is definitely a death by a thousands cuts. Virginia likes to move at a slow pace, wait for high quality shots, and force their opponents into taking bad ones. BC’s only chance is to try and force the Cavaliers out of their comfort zone by playing fast. Scoring in transition and scoring off of turnovers will be a few of the ways Coach Christian can try speed things up. This will mean the Eagles will have no room for error when it comes to turnovers and bad ball handling. Even then, just like Duke, BC will need everything to go their way in order to pull off the upset.

BC 48 / Virginia 67