Preview: Virginia Tech at Boston College
There won't be any ACC bragging rights on the line when BostonCollege hosts Virginia Tech on Wednesday. In fact, the only thing at stake willbe last place in the conference, where the free-falling Hokies currently reside, ahalf-game behind the Eagles. Although there have been few memorable moments foreither school this season, Boston College can point to a gritty 62-59 victory atVirginia Tech on Jan. 11 that marked its lone win in its last eight games.
TheEagles have dropped three straight since and are coming off a 68-60 setback toGeorgia Tech on Jan. 21 in which Boston College rallied from 18 points down in the second halfbefore coming up short. The Hokies have lost six straight and eight of theirlast nine, including a 65-45 drumming at Virginia on Saturday as VirginiaTech shot 33.3 percent from the floor and 3-for-18 from 3-point range. TheHokies have their work cut out for them if they are to even the score with theEagles, who are 10-1 all-time at home against Virginia Tech, with the Eagleshaving won the last four meetings on their own court.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, RSN, ESPN3
ABOUT VIRGINIA TECH (8-11, 1-6 ACC): Despiteranking 13th in the ACC in field goal accuracy at 42.6 percent, the Hokies havethree scorers averaging in double figures in Jarell Eddie (14.4), Ben Emelogu(11.1) and Adam Smith (11). Virginia Tech has relied on its outside game,ranking second in the conference in 3-point shooting at nearly 39 percent, ledby Eddie and his 41.5 percent clip from beyond the arc. Eddie, however, hasstruggled of late, averaging only four points in three of his last four games togo with a 20-point performance against Wake Forest.
ABOUT BOSTON COLLEGE (5-14, 1-5): The Eagles continue to be led by sophomoreOlivier Hanlan, the second-leading scorer in the ACC who is averaging 18.9 points and tops the team at the foul line at 83 percent. Ryan Anderson isaveraging 14.5 points, but the biggest producer for Boston College of late hasbeen Lonnie Jackson, who has averaged 15.8 points over the last four games,beginning with his team-high 17-point performance against Virginia Tech thatincluded the game-deciding 3-pointer with 27 seconds remaining. The Eagles would be happy to decide the game at the foul line, where they leadthe ACC with a 75.2 free-throw percentage and rank 20th in the nation.
1. The Eaglesrank last in the ACC in offensive rebounds, averaging 8.4 per game, whilethe Hokies lead the conference in defensive rebounding, averaging 27.4.
2. VirginiaTech committed a season-low six turnovers in losses to Boston College andWake Forest.
3. BostonCollege is 2-4 in games where it has shot 50 percent or better while opponentshave gone 6-0 when they have made at least half of their field goals.
PREDICTION: Virginia Tech 67, Boston College 64