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Men’s Basketball Preview: Boston College vs Notre Dame

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Why are we still doing this?

NCAA Basketball: Boston College at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston College Eagles (3-13) play the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (9-12) today at 2pm in Conte Forum. A lot has changed for the Eagles since they last played on February 13th! Head coach Jim Christian has been fired, Scott Spinelli has been promoted to interim head coach, Boston College suspended Wynston Tabbs for the remainder of the season for violating COVID protocols, 2 games have been postponed due to COVID cases in BC’s program, Rich Kelly is out for the season with injury, and both Wynston Tabbs and Rich Kelly have entered the transfer portal. Woof.

At this point we do not know who will be active for the game as the Eagles emerge once again from a string of COVID postponements that will likely leave the roster depleted. Last time these teams played each other was just before the Eagles’ first hiatus. They lost to the Fighting Irish 80-70 on January 16th. Given how badly this Boston College team played with a depleted roster last go around, this will probably be a rough game. But let’s take a look at the keys to the match-up anyway.

Their key weakness in their healthy match-up with Notre Dame in January was inconsistency and poor ball-handling. The team would occasionally get into grooves, but fail to implement a consistent gameplan on their opponent for more than a few minutes at a time. This has been a struggle for this team all season long. If there’s one thing Coach Spinelli can do with the very limited time he has to prove he’s a better coach than Christian, it would be to develop a gameplan that does not deviate drastically by the quarter.

In their game against NC State on February 6th, they were in a very similar spot of coming off a hiatus with a depleted roster, so it is worth to look at how the Eagles struggled in that game as well. Unfortunately there aren’t many keys to take away from that game because Boston College just failed miserably on almost all fronts. They shot less than 40% from the floor, 27% from three, got heavily outrebounded, and committed an ugly 15 turnovers. It’s of course understandable to do this when you’re a bad team without many of your players, but it does not bode well for today’s match-up.

Notre Dame, meanwhile, has playing fairly consistently without any COVID problems on their own team since earlier in the season. They’ve won 6 of their last 10, including a close win over Duke, and should be shaping up fine for today’s game. This team is not made-up of world-beaters, but they won’t need to be in order to take down this Eagles squad.

Prediction

Do I even need to say anything more at this point?

Final Score: Notre Dame 90 Boston College 60