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Men’s Basketball Preview: Boston College @ Miami

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A winnable regular season finale

NCAA Basketball: Notre Dame at Boston College Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston College Eagles (4-14) play the Miami Hurricanes (7-16) today at 6pm in the Eagles’ final game before the ACC Tournament. The home team Miami Hurricanes enter this game on a 6-game losing streak, have lost 10 of their last 11, and sit at the bottom of the ACC standings with BC. Boston College is coming off of a blowout loss to #11 FSU, but previously defeated Notre Dame in their first game without Jim Christian since he was fired from his head coaching role. So while this team hasn’t become magic overnight, they are still capable of competing with lower-tier ACC teams.

The Hurricanes allowed Boston College to get one of their few wins earlier this season in an 84-62 blowout back in January. In that game they were largely successful because of their three-point shooting, limited turnovers, and tough zone defense. The Eagles shot 9/17 from beyond the arc, which allowed them to pour on points in spurts and maintain a lead to prevent a Miami comeback. Having only 4 turnovers also helped the Eagles further limit a Miami offense that has a lot of struggles, meaning that the BC defense did not have to be perfect to keep the opponent’s score low. And finally, the Hurricanes could not get anything going from three-point range and the Eagles’ zone defense forced them to take contested shots inside. Those three ingredients, plus the fact that Miami was playing with just 8 players, brought the Eagles their first ACC victory this season.

If the Eagles’ recent performance against another ACC team towards the bottom of the standings, Notre Dame, is any indication of how they sustain this kind of gameplay, then Boston College is looking at a very winnable game today. BC did well in all three of those key areas in their first game without Jim Christian just last week, so this is a sustainable gameplan that could very well carry them to victory again. They just need to make sure their three-pointers are still falling and the ball isn’t fumbling from their grasp too often. It would also be a big help if Steffon Mitchell is available to play. The BC roster is bad enough as it is, especially with Tabbs and Kelly gone for the year, so they’ll need all the help they can get. Mitchell did not play against FSU for an undisclosed reason.

Prediction

Just watching these past two contests, this team is playing hard to close out the year. And Coach Spinelli knows how to direct that energy into a consistent gameplan that plays to the Eagles’ advantages. I’m not expecting a blowout like we saw in January, but Miami is not a good team and I think Boston College will come away with the W to close out the regular season.

Final Score: Boston College 82 Miami 74