The Boston College men’s basketball team will host the #22 ranked NC State Wolfpack in Conte Forum on Saturday.
When: Saturday, February 11th at 12:00 pm ET
Where: Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill, MA
How to Watch: The game will be broadcasted live on ACC Network
NC State comes into Saturday having won 4 of their last 5, placing them 5th in the ACC standings, a game and a half behind the first-place Cavaliers. In truth, the #22 ranked Wolfpack squad has not looked inspiring recently. The Pack (19-6, 9-5 ACC) squeaked out a home win vs. Georgia Tech on Saturday, in which they trailed 61-58 with three minutes to play. If not for a fiery performance from D.J. Burns, who had 24 points and 8 boards, the Pack likely would have fallen to a Yellow Jackets team that is 1-11 in the ACC. On Tuesday, the Wolfpack offense was anything but encouraging, as they were locked down by Tony Bennett’s squad, falling 63-50 to #8 UVA on the road. The Wolfpack are the scoring alphas of the ACC, averaging 79.6 points per game, with a 19-2 record on the year when putting up at least 70. They simply did not have it in Charlottesville. To be fair to Kevin Keatts and co., they ran into a determined Cavaliers team who was fresh off a 74-68 rivalry loss to Va Tech.
Boston College has another great chance to burst some bubbles on Saturday, after recently taking down Clemson (11 seed in Lunardi’s Bracketology) and VA Tech (#59 in KenPom). NC State is firmly in a better position than those two, as they are now 4-5 overall in Quad 1 games, making a strong case for the NCAA Tournament. However, the Pack has an absolute gauntlet of a schedule in late February in which they face Syracuse, UNC, Wake, Clemson, and Duke. In order to avoid a monumental end-of-season collapse, State must take care of business on Saturday against the Eagles, or their hopes of being a lock for the tournament become dicey.
Luckily for State, Boston College ranks dead last in the ACC in opponent 3-point FG percentage (36.8%), while the Wolfpack sit 4th in the ACC in made threes with an average of 8.4/game. The backcourt tandem of Terquavion Smith (18.5 PTS, 4.6 AST, 34.3% 3-pt), and Virginia transfer Casey Morsell (12.8 PTS, 44.0% 3-pt, 64.4 TS%) are my two players to watch for this one. Following Tuesday’s loss, both reiterated how badly they want to win, and I see them coming into Conte with growling stomachs.
While the Eagles (12-13, 6-8 ACC) have struggled mightily on offense this season, they put on a show Wednesday night in Blacksburg, knocking down 12 threes in an emphatic 82-76 win. BC spread the ball around beautifully and for once actually hit their open shots, as the team notched 24 total assists and shot 50% from behind the arc. Freshman guard Chas Kelly stepped up big time, scoring a career-high 17 points on 4-7 shooting from downtown. In his last few outings, Chas has looked extremely confident and capable of becoming the true point guard this team will desperately need in the future. Elsewhere, Quinten Post continued his All-ACC campaign, with a masterful 24 points and 10 rebounds. Man, he is special. Makai Ashton-Langford showed off his gifted passing abilities with 12 assists, including more than a few dazzling dimes. Also of note, Jaeden Zackery logged two assists across seven minutes before not returning to the game due to a leg injury.
On Saturday, Boston College has the opportunity to get their third ranked win on the year and defeat the Pack in Chestnut Hill for the first time since 2017. Unfortunately, I do not see the Eagles gutting this one out, as they run into a hungry and talented NC State team that really needs this one.
Prediction: NC State 78 Boston College 64