Boston College (16-16) vs. (9) Miami-Florida (24-6)
Friday, March 15, 12 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Scott Haynes, Senior College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Greensboro Coliseum (23,500) -- Greensboro, North
Carolina. Television: ESPN2. Home Record: BC 12-6, Miami 14-1. Away Record: BC
3-8, Miami 10-3. Neutral Record: BC 1-2, Miami 0-2. Conference Record: BC
7-11, Miami 15-3. Series Record: Boston College leads, 24-17.
GAME NOTES: After winning the Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season crown,
the Miami Hurricanes will try to add to their trophy case, as they set their
sights on the ACC Tournament title, starting on Friday with a quarterfinal
matchup with the Boston College Eagles at the Greensboro Coliseum.
This year's Miami team is in rarified air after capturing the regular-season
title with a big win in the finale over Clemson. With the win, Miami finished
off the year a stellar 15-3 in league play, edging out Duke by one game in the
final standings. Now Jim Larranaga's squad will attempt to change its fortunes
in this event, where it is a mere 7-8 overall and still in search of its first
Steve Donahue's Eagles closed out the regular season with three straight wins,
just the second-longest win streak of the season for BC, which finished up the
year at 7-11 mark in conference play. The team closed out the regular season
with a narrow win over Georgia Tech, and definitely used that as fuel heading
into the postseason, with Thursday's first-round rout of the same Yellow
Jackets, 84-64, powered by a record-setting performance by the ACC's Freshman
of the Year.
Boston College leads the all-time series, 24-17, but Miami has closed the gap
with wins in six straight meetings, including both this season. The Hurricanes
were fortunate enough to escape Chestnut Hill on Jan. 16 with a 60-59 win, but
followed that up with a lopsided 72-50 victory in Coral Gables on Feb. 5.
The winner of the this game will take on either NC State or Virginia in
semifinal action on Saturday.
A lack of scoring depth was a culprit of BC's inconsistency this season, as
the team finished ninth in the league at 66.9 ppg. Despite the modest totals,
the Eagles relied heavily on the scoring exploits of sophomore Ryan Anderson
(15.1 ppg) and freshman phenom Olivier Hanlan (14.6 ppg) coming into the
Those offensive deficiencies were nowhere to be found in the first-round win
over the Yellow Jackets, as BC blew by Tech, turning a five-point halftime
lead into a 20-point blowout. Hanlan was on fire, draining eight 3-pointers en
route to a freshman ACC Tournament record 41 points. Joe Rahon added 15 points
and Ryan Anderson chipped in 11 for Boston College, which shot a sizzling 50.8
percent from the floor, powered by a 14-of-24 effort from behind the arc.
With stellar defensive play and plenty of gritty playmakers, Miami is built
like a championship team. The Hurricanes finished third in the conference in
scoring defense (59.9 ppg), field-goal percentage defense (.394) and scoring
margin (+9.1). No player has meant more to Miami's run this year than
sophomore Shane Larkin. The 5-foot-11 point guard leads the team in scoring
(13.7 ppg), assists (4.4 apg) and steals (2.0 spg). Forward Kenny Kadji (13.6
ppg, 6.9 rpg) and Durand Scott (12.9 ppg) are big time performers as well in
the Miami lineup and give the team the kind of depth needed to make it to the
tournament championship game. Scott was tabbed the ACC Defensive Player of the
In the conference-clinching win over Clemson last week, Miami got a huge game
from Kadji, who posted game-highs with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Larkin added
11 points in the win, while Trey McKinney Jones finished with 10.
The Eagles have not played well outside of Chestnut Hill, while Miami has won
no matter what floor it is on. The Hurricanes are brimming with confidence
after winning the regular-season title and should have little trouble getting
into an early rhythm in this one.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Miami-Florida 66, Boston College 51