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Boston College Men’s Basketball: ACC Tournament Prospects and Predictions

NCAA Basketball: Georgia Tech at Boston College Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston College Eagles failed to finish the regular season on a high note when they fell to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at home on Saturday. Even worse, the Eagles suffered a cataclysmic injury. Almost three minutes into the game, Quinten Post went down, and with him, much of the Eagles’ ACC tourney hopes. If Post can make it back at any point for the tournament, then everything we have been saying remains true. This team is dangerous and can make a lot of noise down in Greensboro. If not, this exciting season may end more abruptly than expected.

Let’s get into it.

Tues Mar 7 vs. #15 Louisville

4-27. Dead last in the ACC in offense and 14th in defense. 284th in KenPom. Zero wins away from home. The list goes on and on. Apart from a weird, mid-February win against Clemson, Louisville has had pretty much nothing go right for them this season. This team is bad. And yet, when the Cardinals came to Conte Forum in January, it was a one-possession game with 3 minutes to go. Not to mention, Quinten Post played in that game. If Post sits tomorrow, expect this one to be a challenge for the Eags. Senior guard El Ellis leads the Cardinals with 17.7 points and 4.4 assists a game, and he played a pretty efficient game in the earlier meeting with BC, putting up 17 on 7-11 shooting. Aside from Ellis, there isn’t really another go-to player for the Cardinals. Freshman guard Mike James (10.1 ppg), and junior forward Jae’Lyn Withers (9.0 ppg, 42.1% 3pt) can both do damage, but they have not been consistent enough.

If BC hoops want to take a step forward as a program and be taken seriously, they have to take care of this one. With or without Post, the Eagles are the better team. Jaeden Zackery and Makai Ashton-Langford combined for 36 points and 5 steals in the first game vs. Louisville, and the Eagles will desperately need their lead guards to step up again tomorrow. To solidify this season as a success, Earl Grant and co. must at least force a matchup with #7 UNC on Wednesday.

Wed Mar 8 vs. #7 UNC

If BC can escape a devastating round-one upset, they would have to face off against a desperate North Carolina team in front of what should be a rowdy UNC crowd in Greensboro. Although they are certainly beatable, this one would feel pretty daunting. UNC had won three in a row, including taking down #13 Virginia, before their 62-57 home loss to Duke on Saturday. Coming into that high-profile contest, UNC (19-12, 11-9) was projected to be one of the first four teams left out of March Madness. With another late collapse, the climb to get into the field will now be much steeper. It is safe to say that this would be a must-win game for Hubert Davis’ squad.

However, just a year ago, the Tar Heels had a ton of doubts surrounding them as they came into the NCAA tournament as an 8 seed. We all know what happened next. You simply cannot count them out. UNC returned three of their four leading scorers from that 2022 runner-up team in Caleb Love (16.7 ppg), Armando Bacot (16.5 ppg), and R.J. Davis (15.8 ppg).

In their one meeting this season, BC went to Chapel Hill and held their own for most of the game, before falling 72-64. You could argue that the refs were pretty bad and Quinten Post only played 20 minutes. That said, I don’t expect that the Eagles will suddenly get a favorable whistle, and who knows if QP will even be available. Without Post, this is a different team, and I don’t think this one would be close. If they can get healthy, BC could certainly pull off the upset and end Carolina’s season, similarly to how they took out Wake a year ago.

Thur, Mar 9 vs #2 Virginia

I won’t say too much about this potential matchup because I view it as a massive longshot. However, if the Eagles do make it to the Quarterfinals for the second year in a row, I think most fans would be elated. As we saw last year, once you string a few wins together, anything can happen this time of year. This is definitely not the worst draw, as I think Duke and Miami would be tougher, but I would still be pretty surprised if the Eagles were able to take down Tony Bennett’s squad twice in the same season.

Overall Tourney Predictions

Boston College- First Round: 73-61 W vs. #15 Lousiville. Second Round: 74-67 L vs #7 UNC

Upsets- Give me Notre Dame over Va Tech in round one. I think Mike Brey and his seniors will get up for this one and knock off the Hokies. I also like NC State to take down Clemson and advance to the semis, if they can get past the first game.

Championship- Kind of boring but I’ve got #4 Duke vs #2 Virginia in the Finals

Prediction: Duke 76 UVA 72

As always, Roll Eags, and I hope they prove me wrong!