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Preview: Boston College Men’s Basketball @ North Carolina

NCAA Basketball: Wake Forest at Boston College Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday night, the Boston College Eagles travel down the Tobacco Road to face the North Carolina Tarheels for the Eagles’ 3rd ACC match-up in seven days. BC finds themselves in the midst of a losing streak, dropping three straight, while UNC has found their groove to win 7 of their last 9.

When: Tuesday January 17th at 7pm ET

Where: Chapel Hill, NC

How to Watch: The game will be broadcasted live on NESN

In general, BC’s offense has continued to look messy. Makai Ashton-Langford has improved his production since last year, increasing his point totals, shooting percentage, and free throw percentage over last season and generally has been the team’s best scorer on a consistent basis, though his 3pt shooting has regressed. Quinten Post has returned from injury and has been a big contributor on offense. Those two, while not super consistent, have been the best thing going on offense for BC.

DeMarr Langford Jr. seemed to have figured something out last Wednesday, posting a season-high 20 points and looking unstoppable for multiple stretches, but then dropped to scoring just 4 points against Wake Forest at home on Saturday. Jaeden Zackery had a decent night of his own on Saturday, but overall has massively regressed in his efficiency. He has dropped his shooting percentage from 46.3% last season to 38.9% this season, and his 3pt percentage from 47.7% last season to a terrible 29.6% this season. That’s not the kind of performance you want out of a player who takes the 2nd-most shots on the team. Mason Madsen shoots the most threes on the team and performs similarly, 25.4%. This makes spacing a huge issue for the team.

There has been promising play from a lot of the new guys, namely Devin McGlockton, CJ Penha, and Prince Aligbe, but the rookies are still developing and Penha isn’t consistent. Unless a new scorer steps up and performs like JZ did last season, it doesn’t seem like any change is coming.

UNC had a rough start to their season, dropping four straight at one point and facing some tough national championship game hangover. But they’ve patched some problems up in recent weeks and have begun to figure it out for conference play. They have one of the best offenses in the nation, scoring 80 PPG, and that’s been happening with an abnormally low 3pt shooting percentage (31.9%). If the Tarheels can start returning to the mean on threes, they could be darkhorse candidates to steal the ACC title.

Senior center Armando Bacot, one of the heroes of their improbable Final Four run last season, returned in 2022-23 and has been leading his squad. He is dominating in the paint and scoring at will. He’s averaging a double-double with 17.4 PPG & 10.9 RPG. Quinten Post has been a good defender of big men inside for Boston College, but a talent like Bacot’s could be overwhelming.

UNC also plays with two dynamic guards in Caleb Love and RJ Davis. The junior duo has accounted for another huge chunk of North Carolina’s scoring and have been key facets of this top-40 offense. BC has struggled to defend multiple athletic threats on the perimeter and could find similar problems when taking on these guys.

Prediction: UNC 78 Boston College 68