Boston College Team Report: Eagles Jump Back Into NCAA Tournament Race

JB McCandlesCorrespondent IFebruary 17, 2009

Boston College found itself on the verge of falling out of contention for an NCAA Tournament bid, but with a win against Duke, BC bounced back in a big way.

Boston College recovered from back-to-back losses to Wake Forest and Clemson, after those games saw the Eagles falter in the second half. 

BC was down by as many as 13 against Duke in the first half, but they capped off opening half on an 8-0 run. The second half, meanwhile, belonged to Tyrese Rice, who has proven to be a very streaky scorer.

He can score whenever he wants, and he does a nice job of not forcing it. 

Freshman guard Reggie Jackson scored the go-ahead basket on a floater in the lane, and the Eagles never trailed from that point on. He also gave BC its first lead of the second half on a catch and shoot fade-away three.

BC moved to 7-5 in ACC play, and are now just a half-game behind Duke for second place.

Of the Eagles' four remaining games, only one of their opponents is ranked in the top half of the league, as Florida State comes to town. BC then plays Miami on Saturday at the U, followed by the Eagles' final two games against North Carolina State and Georgia Tech.

Rice went over 2,000 points in his career after scoring 21 against Duke, and is ranked seventh on BC's all-time list.

Jackson, meanwhile, broke out of a slump by scoring 15 in BC's big win over the Blue Devils, scoring in double figures for the first time since putting together back-to-back 10-point efforts against North Carolina State and Maryland earlier in the season.

BC shot a season high 59 percent from the field against Duke. It was the second time in four games that BC shot over 50 percent from the field, the other instance coming in a win against Virginia.

BC has dominated the all-time series against Miami, but has dropped the last two meetings to the U.

Rice led BC in points (22), rebounds (6), assists (6), and turnovers (6) against Duke.

Joe Trapani also broke out of a slump by putting up 20 points against Duke, this after scoring a combined 24 points in the previous two games for BC. 

With the win against Duke, BC helps its chances of getting an at-large bid to the tourney.

Laugh at BC if you wish, but the Eagles are a very dangerous team. BC has beaten Duke, UNC, UAB, and Virginia Tech—all four are in the RPI top-50.

Boston College probably shouldn't have lost to Clemson, but they let Terrence Oglesby do way too much, and it cost them the game.

Assuming Boston College wins their next four contests to close out the regular season, BC could be looking at a seed somewhere between a No. 4 and No. 7. 

If BC wins three of their final four games, they should be in very good shape. 10-6 is a great mark in ACC play, considering the ACC projected them to finish 11th. 

My prediction for BC is 11-5 in ACC play, the No. 4 seed in the ACC tournament, and a No. 5 seed for the NCAA tournament.