The Maryland Terrapins came to the Conte Forum today, in what could have been termed a must win game for the BC Eagles’ NCAA tournament chances. Rivals.com’s projection for the new 68-team field this year had BC barely squeaking into the tournament, dropping them from an 8-seed to a 12-seed. No at-large team in the projected field was seeded lower than 12. In addition, since the field was expanded from 65 to 68 teams for this season, two of the six 12-seeds get stuck playing in the “First Four”, essentially a play-in game that will take place in Dayton, Ohio.
Fortunately for the Eagles, Reggie Jackson set his career high in scoring with 31 points as the Eagles pulled away from the Terrapins late in the 2nd half. After his 27 point performance against a tough Clemson defense, its safe to say his slump that followed his benching in the Duke game is officially over.
In the Clemson game, the Eagles struggled containing the Clemson big men on the inside. Maryland star big man Jordan Williams however, was effectively shut down by an aggressive BC defense that double-teamed him on the inside and forced him to pass out to the perimeter instead of giving Williams easy inside looks. Williams, a double-double machine, failed to reach that mark for only the second time in ACC play this season. He recorded only 12 points and 8 boards today. Interestingly in the first meeting between these two teams in College Park, Williams posted 27 and 13. At Virginia he recorded only 4 points and 6 rebounds but Maryland won handily.
The Eagles next travel to Chapel Hill in a weeks time to face a North Carolina Tar Heels team who already throttled them at home by 30+. Clearly they will be a double digit underdog in the Vegas and offshore sportbooks making the win against Maryland today that much more significant.
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Written by Christopher Ferrick-Manley