Friday, January 29, 2010

MBB Game 22: Florida State at Boston College

Every game is now the biggest game of the year for BC, who continued to pull their heads out of their asses with a win on Tuesday night against #21 Clemson.  The Eagles stand at 3-4 in the conference (more on that in a moment) and will host the Florida State Seminoles at the Conte Forum at 3pm Saturday.  It is a Raycom game, which means you can go one of four ways: TV (if you're in the right market), ESPN360 (if you get it), Raycom Sports (if you're in an ACC state), or our good friends at some of the other live stream sites.

BC put together one of their best efforts of the season at home against Clemson, running up to a 17-point lead at the half and holding on by 6.  Granted, they did have some sloppy moments, but they also did a lot of things right.  One of those things was breaking the press, which is important because Florida State also features one.  They used it in their game on Wednesday night at Duke, but Duke broke it as easily as BC broke Clemson's (at least in the parts of the game that I saw).  BC will need to retain that same aggressiveness to get to the hoop against FSU.

More about that FSU/Duke game a few days ago, and boy was that messy for the Seminoles.  They turned the ball over a devastating 23 times and only made 43% of their free throws (6 out of 14).  In spite of that, they hung in there until there were only a few minutes to go.  We no longer have to worry about Toney Douglas, thankfully, but Chris Singleton and Solomon Alabi have picked up the slack.

The Seminoles will be a tough out, but like everyone in the ACC -- and I mean everyone -- they are beatable.  There is no dominant team to which everyone else is looking up; anyone can beat anyone on any given night.  BC can win this game if they play the way they have been lately, and it's as damn close to being a must-win as it can be at this point in the season.

A quick glance at the ACC standings will tell you that BC, if they can continue winning, is hardly in a terrible spot.  This is a huge game for both teams: if the Seminoles win, they're back over .500 in the conference; if BC wins, they're back up to .500 and leap over them and Clemson into 7th.  No one will run free with the conference title this year, and I still think 9-7 might be good enough to slide into an ACCT bye with the right tiebreakers.  If BC wins tomorrow and goes to 4-4, they are legitimately still in contention for one.

It is now or never for the Eagles.  If they are to have any chance of playing beyond Greensboro, they must win this game.

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