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Close But No Cigar

Posted By Christopher Ferrick-Manley On Feb 19 2011 @ 7:29 pm In Boston College | No Comments

This one was a lot closer. After being utterly demolished at home by the Tar Heels, the Eagles were competitive the entire 40 minutes on the road in Chapel Hill. In fact they had a chance to win at the buzzer but Reggie Jackson’s three rimmed out, giving #19 North Carolina a 48-46 victory.

Some may want to make this about the Tar Heels offensive struggles. This is the only time in Roy Williams’ coaching tenure that the Tar Heels have been held under 50 points, and at home no less. Their previous scoring low was in last seasons finale. They lost 83-50 to eventual national champion Duke with squad that also made the championship game; the championship game of the NIT that is where they fell to Dayton.

Unless the Tar Heels came in overconfident, and there will be those who say that because they beat the Eagles by 30+ in Chestnut Hill, there is usually a reason a team puts up under 50 points in a game. And that reason is good defense. The Eagles, on the road held the Tar Heels to 36% shooting on 57 attempts (21-57). More importantly, they only let the home team get to the foul line eight times, where UNC converted only four of the free throws. While BC’s offensive output was nothing to write home about either, their defensive performance is a very good sign especially considering they will not face another team with the talent level of the Tar Heels until at least the ACC Conference Tournament.

Rivals.com had BC as a 9-seed in its most recent bracket projections, while ESPN’s Joe Lunardi included them in his “Last Four In”. Losing by 2-points to a top-25 conference opponent with a long storied history like the North Carolina Tar Heels, on the road, probably will not hurt their chances of one of the final at-large bids too badly. Virginia Tech’s loss on the road at Virginia today could not have hurt either. In fact, the March 1st road date against the Hokies in Blacksburg should be circled on the calendar as that may end up being a semi play-in game.

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