The start of the Eagle’s 20-21 campaign has surely not been an easy task. Boston College has been thrown straight into the fire early on forced into some tough competitions against some of the best in the industry and only managing to find a victory over the course of their first four games. On the other hand, their opponent tonight, the Minnesota Gophers, are certainly on cruise control as they have had to go up against some lower-tier competition thus propelling them to a sturdy 4-0 start to their season.
Minnesota kicked off their season against that likes of Green Bay, Loyola Marymount (twice), and the University of North Dakota. All of these contests were presumed to be automatic wins for the Gophers and it turns out that it was the appropriate presumption to make. The Gophers completely dismantled Green Bay in their opening game of the season 99-69 and followed that up with two wins against LMU. The second of the contest was a little closer than the first as LMU appeared to have strengthened up their defense and their game plan against Minnesota but they still came up short losing 67-64. In their most recent matchup against UND, Utah transfer Both Gach led the Gophers with 21 Points and 9 Rebounds to help push Minnesota to a clean 4-0 record. He was also critical in getting the Gophers out of an early jam against UND where they were trailing early on 22-11, their largest deficit of the season. Aside from Gach, Junior Marcus Carr has been an absolute cash machine from the field where through 4 games he is averaging a stat line of 26.5 PPG | 4.3 RPG | 6.0 APG. Again, these numbers may be inflated because of the level of competition, but nonetheless they are impressive and certainly make him a player to watch for.
For the Eagles, this is the second time in series history that they will face Minnesota. The last time out was only but two years ago. In a similar deja vu type scenario, the Gophers came into Conte Forum boasting an undefeated record that BC was able to disrupt with an upset beating them 68-56 behind Wynston Tabbs’ 17 points. Of that 2018 Minnesota team, only two members of that squad are on Minnesota’s current roster, Gabe Kalscheur and Jarvis Omersa, who will be looking for a revenge like narrative to what BC was able to accomplish against them a few years prior.
Loose narratives aside, this will be the first contest for the Eagles outside of “Bubbleville” as they will be playing on the hardwood court of Williams Arena in Minneapolis. Even without a screaming student’s section, it will be interesting to see how the Eagles fair in their first “road game” of the season. More interestingly, since we are talking narratives, it will be interesting to see what type of ferocity Steffon Mitchell comes out with playing in his home state even though he will have a tough matchup against 7 footer Liam Robbins. Furthermore, we were finally blessed to see James Karnik on the floor for the first time against UF after his waiver was granted approval . He was able to produce 7 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals in his 19 minutes on the floors which was a respectable stat line for his first game against a tough opponent. It will be interesting to see if Christian gives him more run and to see how he handles the matchups in the interior now that he has a little more depth at the forward and center position.
Overall, this should be a rather high scoring affair as Minnesota is currently averaging 82 PPG which is right around how much on average BC is giving up a game (81.75 PPG allowed). Currently, Vegas is marking BC as a 7.5+ underdog with an O/U of 148.5 for the matchup which I think seems pretty fair for the most part. While I have been on a cold streak in my predictions this year, I feel the gamblers confidence in choosing the outcome of this one. I would take the points for BC and the over in this one. Either way, I still feel that BC comes up a few field goals short and gives the Gophers their fifth win of the season.
Final Prediction: Minnesota 88 - Boston College 82