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Boston College vs Miami in the ACC Men’s Basketball Quarterfinal: Preview and Prediction

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Can Eagles weather the Hurricane?

NCAA Basketball: ACC Conference Tournament-Wake Forest vs Boston College Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Nobody expected BC to be in this position, but after an overtime upset victory of the 5th seeded Wake Forest Demon Deacons, the Eagles find themselves facing the 4th seeded Miami Hurricanes, a team that knocked off BC just last week. Can BC fans expect the unexpected yet again?

What we have here is a situation where the solution is simple but by no means easy.

BC does possess a big advantage over Miami...their BIGS. There is nobody on Miami that can match up with James Karnik or Quinten Post size-wise. So the game plan is simple: feed it to the post.

However, the big problem with that is that Miami is the best in the ACC in terms of stealing the ball; something they did quite frequently against BC. Miami did a great job at shutting down the passing lanes to keep BC from getting the ball to Post and Karnik when these teams last met. This forced BC to be a perimeter shooting team which is an aspect of their game that has been very inconsistent all year long. If they get forced into perimeter shots they’ll need guys like Makai Ashton-Langford to be drilling them from deep like they did yesterday.

The Hurricanes are also very good at scoring off turnovers; another thing they did frequently against BC. Anyone who stuck around for the second half will remember that the Eagles played much better in the second half but the 17 points they surrendered off of turnovers in the first half just was too much for BC to overcome. The Eagles were also just 57.1% from the free throw line which further hindered their comeback efforts. This may be one of the easier things for BC to improve upon — which they did yesterday against Wake. So there you have it, simple, get the ball into the paint without turning it over; simple but not easy.

Miami previously gave BC problems on both ends of the court. Miami came out, spread the court, showed off how well they move the ball around, and they exposed the Eagles’ defense. It didn’t seem to matter which Hurricanes player ended up with the ball because it usually ended up going through the hoop; Miami shot 56.4% from the field and 47.6% from beyond the arc.

BC needs to give Miami a little taste of their own medicine and restrict those passing lanes so Miami can’t keep moving the ball around till they find an open shot. Isaiah Wong was the wind in Miami’s Hurricane, scoring 27 points, on 9 of 16 shooting. Sam Waardenburg, Miami’s only significant post presence, is another player to look out for, he scored 16 points and 3 of his 5 makes were from three. The task of slowing down the Miami offense is, in my opinion, the toughest task BC has.

While beating Miami is certainly a daunting task, if the Wake Forest game has showed us anything is that Earl Grant clearly knows how to make adjustments and get his team motivated, despite what the regular season results or odds would indicate. Still, BC will need to hope their momentum keeps rolling to overcome a very good and rested Miami team.

Final Score Prediction:

Miami 81 BC 74