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Boston College Basketball vs. Notre Dame/North Carolina: Final Thoughts & Predictions

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My prediction? Pain.

Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Tough week ahead for Boston College, which next faces a pair of top 25-ranked teams in Notre Dame and North Carolina.

Game Facts

Game 21 vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Wednesday, February 4, 2015, 7:00 PM Eastern
TV: RSN / NESN
Radio: WEEI 850 AM, BCEagles.com

Series History: 13-10, Notre Dame

First Meeting: Notre Dame 74, Boston College 66 (February 7, 1963)
Last Meeting: Notre Dame 73, Boston College 69 (February 16, 2014)
Last Meeting at Joyce Center: Notre Dame 76, Boston College 73 (OT) (February 1, 2014)

Game 22 vs. North Carolina Tar Heels

Saturday, February 7, 2015, 3:00 p.m. Eastern
TV: ACC Network
Radio: WEEI 850 AM, BCEagles.com

Series History: 11-5, North Carolina

First Meeting: North Carolina 96, Boston College 80 (March 18, 1967)
Last Meeting: North Carolina 82, Boston College 71 (January 18, 2014)
Last Meeting at Conte Forum: North Carolina 82, Boston College 70 (January 19, 2013)

Roster Notes

No changes from last week.

Projected Starters

G Olivier Hanlan, junior
G Aaron Brown, graduate
G Dimitri Batten, graduate
G Patrick Heckmann, senior
F Will Magarity, sophomore

Three-Point Previews

1. Catch Fire From The Floor. After the Clemson game, Coach talked a bit about BC's inability to play inside out. BC's bigs scored all of two points in the paint vs. the Tigers. That's...not going to cut it against either Notre Dame or North Carolina. Is Clifford still sick, or just ineffectual against ACC caliber centers? Magarity is a 5 masquerading as a 7-foot wing. Odio and Cain Carney aren't much help either. The only chance BC has at putting points on the board is if more than one guard—Hanlan, Brown, Batten or Heckmann—puts together a full 40 and puts a bunch of points on the board.

2. Production from the bench. Can Clifford get things going off the bench? How about guys like Odio, Owens and Dragicevich (playing with a bit extra motivation against Notre Dame)? One of the things that's been a glaring weakness of this team is a lack of production off the bench. BC's bench scored just 7 points against Clemson (5 from Odio). It's clear the starters are gonna take this team as far as it can go, but the Eagles aren't going to win many games when they get little to no production from their bench players.

3. Free Throws. Cliche, yes. But definitely a recurring problem with this team. BC got to the free throw line just nine times in the loss to Clemson (which ties a season low), and the few times they were there, they missed four of them. I don't know if it's a lack of aggressiveness on the offensive end of the floor from the guards, a lack of inside presence or simply settling for too many long jump shots, but the Eagles aren't doing themselves any favors by not creating opportunities at the free throw line.

Steve Addazio* Previews Notre Dame and North Carolina

[Steve Addazio is busy signing dudes and will return next week.]

Scoreboard Watching / Out of Town Notes

Saturday is a fine day of men's basketball in the ACC. #10 Notre Dame at #4 Duke kicks the day off (1:00 p.m. CBS) followed by #9 Louisville at #3 Virginia (7:00 p.m. ESPN). Also interested in seeing how Syracuse fares at Pittsburgh as the Orange keep inexplicably winning ACC games despite not looking very good doing it.

Gametime Song of the Week

Cage The Elephant - Back Against The Wall.

Random Factoids

Like a lot of other ACC teams, Boston College carries two moderately long losing streaks into these games. BC hasn't defeated North Carolina in five tries—not since notching consecutive wins over North Carolina during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons. BC has lost three straight to Notre Dame, but seven straight at the Joyce Center. The last Eagles win over the Irish in South Bend was a 73-61 victory...back on January 11, 1997.

Dot Dot Dot

I feel for a kid like Alex Dragicevich, who transferred from Notre Dame to Boston College for playing time and an offensive system under Donahue more suited to his talents. Now he finds himself buried on the depth chart behind preferred walk-ons. He's seen his minutes and production decrease every year, from 20.9 minutes and 6.6 points a game as a sophomore at Notre Dame to just 6.0 minutes and 1.0 points a game as a senior at BC. Probably not the way he envisioned his career going after making the move from South Bend to Chestnut Hill.

While it wouldn't have mattered to Dragicevich specifically (due to NCAA transfer rules), I'm sure the success of this year's Fighting Irish men's basketball team doesn't make things much better.

BCI Predictions

A set of thoroughly optimistic predictions this week ...

BC-ND Score BC-UNC Score Pts. Record Picking BC
hoyaeagle 76-61 63-60 18 15-3
Brian Favat 81-59 75-65 17 14-4
Jeff Martyn 66-65 85-57 17 14-4
CSOM_97 74-67 71-61 16 13-5
CoachJF 82-68 77-67 16 13-5
A.J Black 77-60 70-50 15 12-6
Dan "NG" Rubin 80-66 83-64 13 13-4
Kwani Lunis 70-55 77-66 12 11-4
Joe Gravellese pain pain 12 11-7
Grant Salzano 68-63 80-63 10 8-10

Leave your thoughts / predictions on Boston College-Notre Dame and Boston College-North Carolina below. Go Eagles!

* Steve Addazio actually didn't say these things