Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Eagles vs. Aggies: Does BC have a shot?

Tomorrow at noon, right after Santa Claus arrives at Herald Square and just as J. Peterman himself kicks off the Dog Show on NBC, your Boston College Eagles will be playing a little bit of hoops on ESPN2. There has not been any point spread established as of this writing, but one would assume the Eagles are not favored. After all, their opponent, Texas A&M, are 3-0 with wins over Alcorn State, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, and Texas A&M International. Three unimpressive teams, but three impressive wins for the Aggies. We all know what BC's deal is, having lost one of their cupcake games. In this first game of the Old Spice Classic, does BC realistically have a chance of winning?

Well, there's a chance, but admittedly it's not an overwhelming one. The most obvious problem with the Eagles is their lack of perimeter defense, with Yale and Holy Cross shooting a combined 18-35 from beyond the arc. If you're looking for something positive, however, the Aggies have struggled from 3, and are currently ranked 268th in the country in 3-point field goal percentage (29.3%). The thing is, they haven't taken many threes against this weak opposition, but have made their shots count inside two-point range and will pose problems for BC unless they play a solid defensive game. A&M currently has one of the better offenses in the nation and, unlike us, received a vote in the Coaches' Poll this week.

If Boston College's shots don't fall, then we're not going to win, but there's no way to know until gametime.  The Eagles need to keep doing what they're doing in creating open shots, but getting them into the bucket is a completely different matter.

The only thing about this game, however, is that this is the first time this season either team will have played anyone of note. Not that it really even makes a difference, but I'd argue that BC has played a slightly tougher schedule, given that one of the Aggies' opponents was a D-II team. When you boil it all down though, they won those games, and the Eagles didn't. Still, it should be an interesting matchup between these two teams and a chance to see where BC really is at this point. I haven't gotten a chance to see A&M this year, but I am of the understanding that they're a good team. How much better than BC, however, remains to be seen. Even if nothing else, this game should not be a blowout.

KenPom believes the Eagles have a 43% chance of victory tomorrow. I think it's more like 35%. I'll be around tomorrow to cover this game on Twitter and wrap it up afterwards right here, so join in @SoaringtoGlory during the game. Enjoy your Thanksgiving.

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