Date & Time: Saturday, March 3 at 7 p.m. ET
Location: Silvio Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill, Mass.
Odds: ESPN’s matchup predictor says Syracuse has a 71% chance of beating the Eagles.
Radio: Cuse.com, TK 99/105, WAER 88.3
Rivalry: 50-26, Syracuse
Current Streak: 3, Syracuse
First Meeting: Back in 1959, Syracuse basketball faced off against Boston College on January 30th. Boston College won the game 78-71. The Orange were led by Jon Cincebox who grabbed 19 rebounds and scored 12 points. Pete Chudy added 13 points for Syracuse as well in the win.
Last Meeting: Back in January, the Orange played one of their best games of the season against Boston College, clobbering the Eagles 76-50 behind 22 points from Buddy Boeheim and 19 from Elijah Hughes. Syracuse dominated Boston College in the first half and led 38-13 at the half.
Head Coaches: Jim Boeheim (44th year; 1,063-391 at SU) | Boston College - Jim Christian (6th Year, 75-115 at BC)
Coach Bio: In his sixth year at Boston College, Jim Christian has had just one winning season with the Eagles, and has never won more than seven ACC games. And unfortunately, after a 9-8 start to the season when these teams first met, the Eagles have lost eight of their last 12 and will likely end the season with another losing record.
Overall, Jim Christian is 317-269 as a head coach, including two seasons at Ohio, four seasons at TCU, and six seasons at Kent State. He’s made it to the NCAA Tournament twice, losing both games as head coach for Kent State. He’s also won two MAC tournament championships and five regular season first place finishes while coaching the Eagles.
Last Year: Led by Ky Bowman, the team finished the season 14-17, and 5-13 in the ACC. WIth an 11th place finish, this was their highest ACC finish under Jim Christian in his six years on the staff. Unfortunately for the Eagles, they just didn’t have the depth of roster to compete in a very competitive ACC, and could simply not keep pace with the more skilled teams in the conference.
Last Game: Boston College lost in heartbreaking fashion, 62-61, to Notre Dame on a last second buzzer beater by T.J. Gibbs. The Irish were led by John Mooney, who scored 22 points in the game. The Eagles got 12 points each from Steffon Mitchell, Jay Heath, and Derryck Thornton, but came up just short of a win.
”Fear Me, I’ve Killed Hundreds of Timelords”: No one. Seriously. I don’t mean that as a disservice to Boston College, but they really don’t have that one or two standout stars that win them games.
If I had to pick the player likely to do the most damage against the Orange, I’ll go with Nik Popovic. At 6-foot-11, 253 lbs, Popovic has the size to cause issues on the interior for the Orange.
Popovic didn’t play in the first meeting against the Orange due to a back injury, but he’s averaging 10.5 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. He recently put up 22 points and seven rebounds against Virginia’s Mamidi Diakite, so he definitely has the skill to cause us problems.
If Syracuse Loses: Meh. Other than creating issues with keeping the winning season streak alive, a loss means almost nothing here. At this point it’s pretty much ACC Tournament champs or bust. It’s possible we sneak in if we win out and make the tournament final, but even that is leaving too much in the balance. Oh well, might as well win anyways, right?
If Syracuse Wins: Also meh. As mentioned above, a win here doesn’t do much other than ensure the 50th consecutive non-losing season for the Orange, so let’s go get that I guess.
Fun Fact 1: There were six different seasons where Boston College and Syracuse played three times while members of the Big East. Depending on how things fall, this could be the first time in happens in the ACC if the teams meet in the conference tournament.
Fun Fact 2: From 1985 to 1989, the Orange beat Boston College 10 straight times, including three matchups in the Big East Tournament that Syracuse swept.