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Men’s Basketball Preview: Boston College vs NC State

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Hey Eagles fans, it’s been a while!

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

The Boston College Eagles (3-10) will play the NC State Wolfpack (7-7) today at noon in the Eagles’ first game in almost a month. A hiatus caused by a positive COVID test within the program, followed by another postponed game this week after an FSU positive test, will finally end against a middle-of-the-road Wolfpack team that already dealt BC a close loss this season. NC State has been competitive with most teams in this season’s confusing ACC, while BC has only been able to rack up wins against fellow ACC bottomfeeder Miami, mediocre Rhode Island, and a really bad Maine.

When these teams played in December, it was a performance that many Eagles fans should be familiar with at this point. BC had inconsistent game-planning, struggled in the paint, and had to rely on hot hands from behind the arc to try for a comeback. It was not successful. Fans can only hope that this prolonged break has given Coach Christian an opportunity to create a more refined vision of what this team can accomplish, and how they should be doing it. Otherwise we’re in for more inconsistent gameplay that breaks your heart at the end, or perhaps even earlier.

A couple keys to the game for BC will be to overperform in rebounding and to contest every shot possible on the defensive end. The Wolfpack are towards the back of rankings when it comes to rebounds per game, even further back than BC, so it will be imperative that the Eagles take full advantage of the glass and create as many positive opportunities as possible. This is because the NC State offense is much more efficient than their record suggests. When the Wolfpack get the ball, they score often. Limiting their extra possessions and contesting as many shots should be the formula to beating a team that mostly only gets rolling when they are given extra opportunities to score.

Prediction

The Wolfpack have played plenty of games in the past few weeks and, while most didn’t end in wins, they are a warmed-up team looking to take the easier wins when they can get them. BC is 3 weeks cold and doesn’t have a record to suggest they can overcome that. Unless Coach Christian has significantly improved his gameplan during this break, NC State runs away with this one.

Final Score: NC State 82 Boston College 70