Previewing 2017-18 Men’s Basketball: Notre Dame

bc men's basketball

Boston College men’s basketball will attempt to follow up its first ACC road win since 2015 with a win over conference rival Notre Dame. The Eagles (16-10, 6-7 Atlantic Coast) have crept back into the NCAA tournament conversation by winning three of their last four games, while the Irish (15-11, 5-8) continue to struggle in the absence of star forward Bonzie Colson.

Who is BC playing?

Notre Dame

When is BC playing?

Saturday, Feb. 17, 4 p.m.

Where is BC playing?

Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill, Mass.

How to Watch:

The game will be broadcast on the ACC Network and available online on WatchESPN.

By the Numbers:

BC:

1) The Eagles snapped a 23-game road losing streak in ACC play with their win over Pittsburgh on Tuesday. That win was also BC’s first at Pittsburgh since 1994.  

2) Jerome Robinson is averaging a conference-high 25.6 points per game in ACC play. He is also shooting 57.6 percent from the field during conference play, the third-best mark in the conference.

3) The Eagles’ backcourt trio of Robinson, Ky Bowman, and Jordan Chatman all average over 35 minutes per game, and all rank in the top 10 in minutes played in the ACC.

Notre Dame:

1) The Irish are 9-0 against BC in ACC play all-time, including 4-0 at Conte Forum.

2) Notre Dame has hit 10 or more 3-pointers in each of its last three games, including 16 against the Eagles in their last matchup two weeks ago.

3) The Irish have been ranked as high as No. 5 nationally this year, but haven’t held a spot in the AP Top 25 since mid-December.

Last Meeting:

BC and Notre Dame last met about two weeks ago in South Bend. Despite a career-high 46 points from Robinson, the Eagles were ultimately undone by a hot shooting night from the Irish. Notre Dame hit 16-of-29 from beyond the arc, shot 52.5 percent from the field, and ultimately managed to simply outrun BC, winning, 96-85.

BC wins if…

Its perimeter defense improves. In BC’s last meeting with Notre Dame, the Irish were able to find open 3-point looks at will and ride a prolific offensive outing to victory. Defending the 3-point line has been a struggle for the Eagles all year long, but if they are able to at least limit the amount of uncontested shots the Irish get, BC should feel good about its chances to beat a Notre Dame team that is still missing a preseason player of the year candidate in Colson.

BC loses if…

It gets outplayed in the post. Two weeks ago in South Bend, the Irish used a dominant perimeter shooting night to grab a win against the Eagles. What the 3-point barrage covered up, at least partially, however, was the fact that Notre Dame’s forwards, especially Martinas Geben, who had 17 points and 11 rebounds, were also able to get easy baskets seemingly at will. The return of Nik Popovic, who missed much of the first meeting with an abdominal strain, should help, but the Eagles will have to put up more resistance inside so they can focus on containing the Irish’s perimeter threats. If BC gets bullied in the post, it’ll likely be looking at yet another ACC loss to Notre Dame.

Featured Image by Celine Lim / Heights Staff

About Peter Kim 67 Articles
Peter Kim is the assistant sports editor of The Heights. He’s from Seattle, will die happy if the Mariners make the playoffs once in his lifetime, and still refuses to watch any of Super Bowl XLIV. Follow him on twitter @PeterKim_4