CONFERENCES COACHING CHANGES TRANSACTIONS GAMING MATCHUP CURRENT ODDS
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, March 14, 12 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Greensboro Coliseum (23,500) -- Greensboro, North Carolina. Television: ESPN U, ACC Network. Home Record: GT 11-6, BC 12-6. Away Record: GT 3-7, BC 3-8. Neutral Record: GT 2-1, BC 0-2. Conference Record: GT 6-12, BC 7-11. Series Record: Georgia Tech leads, 10-6.
GAME NOTES: The Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament tips off with first-round action on Thursday afternoon at Greensboro Coliseum, as the ninth-seeded Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets do battle with the eighth-seeded Boston College Eagles.
The winner will advance to Friday's quarterfinals to tangle with top-seeded Miami-Florida.
Georgia Tech enjoyed a solid season overall (16-14) and showed some flashes of brilliance in the ACC with wins over Miami (71-69) and Virginia (66-60), but it finished the league campaign at just 6-12. The Yellow Jackets have dropped four of their last six games coming into the tournament.
Conversely, Boston College is bringing plenty of momentum into the event, as it closed out the regular season with three straight wins to improve to 15-16 overall and jump Georgia Tech in the ACC standings at 7-11.
The Yellow Jackets lead the all-time series, 10-6. This matchup marks a rematch of the regular-season finale, which Boston College came out victorious last Saturday in Chestnut Hill, 74-72. The Yellow Jackets led for much of the contest, including by six with just over five minutes remaining, but the Eagles ripped off a 10-2 run to take the lead for good on a Joe Rahon-layup with 1:16 remaining. BC shot a lofty 55.1 percent from the field in the game and was paced by a 15-point, seven-assist effort from Rahon. Olivier Hanlan added 14 points, Ryan Anderson chipped in 13, and Eddie Odio scored 11 off the bench. For Georgia Tech, Marcus Georges-Hunt netted 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field, while Chris Bolden and Daniel Miller poured in 12 and 10 points, respectively.
On the season, Georgia Tech benefits from having one of the strongest defenses in the ACC, as it allows just 61.6 ppg to opponents, but unfortunately it does not boast the offense to properly support it, as it ranks 10th in the league in scoring (64.3 ppg) and last in field goal percentage (61.6 ppg). Georges- Hunt is the top scoring threat with 10.4 ppg, while Robert Carter, Jr. (10.0 ppg, 6.6 rpg) and Miller (8.5 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.1 bpg) bring stability to the frontcourt for the Rambling Wreck.
As for Boston College, it has failed to stand out at either end of the floor, as it ranks ninth in the league in scoring offense (66.9 ppg) and eighth in scoring defense (68.2 ppg), although it does have one of the strongest free- throw percentages (.713). Anderson is a very productive forward with 15.1 ppg (on 47.8 percent from the field) and 8.1 rpg. Hanlan (14.6 ppg) was named the ACC Rookie of the Year, while fellow freshman Rahon (10.1 ppg, 3.6 apg) is also enjoying a strong campaign.
Georgia Tech has proven to be a dangerous team when it puts it all together, but it has been far too inconsistent to count on with any degree of certainty. Boston College is riding a hot streak and has the mental edge after defeating the Yellow Jackets less than a week ago. Expect a similar result in this one.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Boston College 68, Georgia Tech 65
03/14 10:51:11 ET