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Men’s Basketball Preview: Boston College @ Pitt

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Sickos’ delight

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: DEC 11 Boston College at Saint Louis

The Boston College Eagles (6-6) travel to Pittsburgh on Saturday afternoon to play the Pittsburgh Panthers (5-9) at 4pm. This will be BC’s 3rd ACC match-up of the season after beating Notre Dame soundly in early December, but then getting trounced by UNC in their most recent game on January 2nd. Pitt hasn’t been faring well in the ACC themselves, going 0-3 so far against Virginia, Notre Dame, and Louisville.

Pitt is one of the worst teams in the ACC, meaning that this will be one of the few opportunities the Eagles will have for a solid win in conference play. The Panthers’ offense ranks near the bottom in almost every statistical category, with slight exceptions in FT% and offensive rebounds. Sophomore forward John Hugley is the closest thing Pitt has to a star player, but even he is averaging just 14.5 PPG and 8 RPG. The Pitt offense overall is a smattering of players who can all score with moderate success, especially their mid-sized wings. BC will have success stopping the Panthers’ offense by forcing their bigs to beat them inside and not giving up many mid-rangers or cuts to the basket from the wings.

Pitt’s defense isn’t much better. They do a good job of defending the 3-ball, but that’s about it. BC will need to get “gritty, not pretty” on the interior and rely on the power of James Karnik, Quinten Post, DeMarr Langford, and others to power their way inside and exploit Pitt where they are weak. The return of Brevin Galloway should also be a boon for this team, as he’ll allow the BC offense to spread the floor a bit more and force the Pitt D to get thinner on the inside of Brevin is hitting some shots. Galloway went 2-10 against UNC, though, so it is yet to be determined how well that strategy may work.

Prediction

BC should have a decent shot at this one! The lackluster Pitt offense going against a gritty BC defense is going to be a tough match-up for the home team, and the offensive rust for BC was hopefully shaken off against UNC. I’ll take the Eagles in this one.

Final Score: Boston College 69 Pitt 63