Teams: Syracuse Orange (18-11, 7-9) vs. Boston College Eagles (16-13, 6-10)
Day & Time: Wednesday, February 28, 2018, 9 p.m. ET
Location: Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill, Mass.
TV/Streaming: RSN (check your local affiliate)/ACC Network Extra
Radio: Syracuse IMG Network, WAER 88.3, Sirius 93/XM 193
Boston College blog: BC Interruption
Rivalry: 47-25, ‘Cuse
Current Streak: 2, Orange
First Meeting: Dino Martin showed up to Manley Field House to sing the hits, and after a rousing rendition of “Volare”... Oh, different guy. BC won 78-71, while Pete Chudy grabbed 13 points and Jon Cincebox grabbed 19 rebounds. Someone probably played “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head” just to commemorate the loss.
Last Meeting: Syracuse came out hot, scoring 47 points in the first half. Five different Orange players scored in double figures, led by Tyus Battle’s 24 points. SU hit 60.4 percent of their shots, including 43.8 percent from three. Boston College shot well from three as well, however, which is something we should be concerned about again this time.
Head Coaches: SU: Jim Boeheim (42nd year, 1,022-368); Boston College: Jim Christian (4th year, 45-80)
Coach Bio: Christian left Long Island for the Boston area (BU), then transferred to Rhode Island to close his college basketball career. He spent a season playing for the Sydney City Comets of the Australian Basketball Association before coming back to the States to serve as an assistant under his high school coach Ralph Willard, at Western Kentucky. Christian bounced around from St. Francis (PA), back to WKU, then Miami (OH), Pitt and Kent State before taking over the Golden Flashes in 2002. Two MAC titles in his final three years led him to TCU, but he didn’t see similar success with the Horned Frogs, just making the CBI once. At Ohio, he won 24 and 25 games, respectively, before BC hired him. This is the first season the Eagles have won more than 13 games under Christian.
Last Year: Boston College was 9-23, and Syracuse was one of the team’s only two wins in ACC play. Ky Bowman was pretty good, and Jerome Robinson was too. But beyond that, the Eagles were largely garbage. Highly unfortunate for them.
Last Game: The Eagles led at halftime, and then again with just seconds left on the road at Miami. But Lonnie Walker hit the game-winning three to thwart the BC upset and keep the ‘Canes in the win column. Robinson had 30 points on 12-of-17 shooting, and the team shot 57 percent from the field. Where they were ultimately derailed was on the boards (outrebounded by 12) and from three (just 4-of-17).
”Fear Me, I’ve Killed Hundreds of Timelords”: Robinson’s a brutally efficient shooter for a guard, hitting over 51 percent of his shots on the season, while scoring 20.9 points per game. He also hits nearly 84 percent of his free throws and 44.5 percent of his threes. Robinson’s scored 30 or more points three different times in ACC play this year, including a stunning 46 against Notre Dame. BC somehow lost that game.
Jack Ferguson Memorial Random Three-Point Performance: No one really stands out as a threat given the regular rotation players’ reliance on the three-ball already. Perhaps Avery Wilson ends up getting some minutes and shows some hot shooting from outside. He’s limited in how much he typically plays, but he hits over 50 percent of his shots from the floor.
If Syracuse Wins: Hope’s still alive, as Syracuse matches last year’s win total and pulls within one game of .500 in ACC play. It’s a road win, though not an overwhelmingly impressive one to the committee.
If Syracuse Loses: Ummm, we have to beat Clemson and probably get to the ACC semifinals as well to even have a shot at making the NCAAs.
Fun Fact No. 1: The Orange’s last season of single-digit wins was 1968-69, Roy Danforth’s first year in charge of the program. Since that time, BC has had nine such seasons, including three of the last five.
Fun Fact No. 2: Just seven schools have made more NCAA Tournament appearances than Boston College (18) without making it to the Final Four. That list: BYU (29), Xavier (27), Missouri (25), Alabama (20), Creighton (20), Tennessee (20) and Utah State (20).