Boston College (9-20) at Miami-Florida (17-11)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 3, 2:30 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: BankUnited Center (7,200) -- Coral Gables, Florida. Television: Raycom/ESPN3.com. Home Record: Boston College 8-9, Miami-Florida 12-3. Away Record: Boston College 0-8, Miami-Florida 4-8. Neutral Record: Boston College 1-3, Miami-Florida 1-0. Conference Record: Boston College 4-11, Miami-Florida 8-7. Series Record: Boston College leads, 24-14.
GAME NOTES: The Miami-Florida Hurricanes take one last shot at securing the Atlantic Coast Conference's final bye for the upcoming tournament, hosting Boston College Saturday in the season finale at BankUnited Center.
Miami-Florida fell just short in a tough road loss to NC State Wednesday, 77-73. The Hurricanes managed to stick close to the Wolfpack right to the end despite a poor shooting performance (35.6 percent), tying the game with 1:36 left on a Malcolm Grant three-pointer. With the clock winding to a close, Grant had one last look at a three to tie the game after Rion Brown sank a pair at the foul line, but it fell off the mark. Brown was high man for the 'Canes with 15 points while Grant finished with 14 points as Miami lost for the fourth time in six games overall. Durand Scott put up 10 points and grabbed 11 boards in defeat. Miami is now tied for fourth place in the ACC with NC State and Virginia at 8-7 heading into the season's final weekend.
Boston College put the brakes on a four-game slide Wednesday with a 56-52 home triumph over Georgia Tech. In a back-and-forth affair, the Eagles saw a 17- point second-half lead disappear under a 13-0 Tech run that set up a close finish. The Yellow Jackets' run extended to 18-3 moments later to make it a two-point game but a pair of free throws from freshman Lonnie Jackson in the closing moments sealed the outcome for BC. The hosts got 13 points from Matt Humphrey while Ryan Anderson registered 10 points, nine rebounds and four assists. The victory moved Boston College to 4-11 in conference play and out of the ACC basement -- now occupied by Georgia Tech.
Miami-Florida won earlier this season in Chestnut Hill with a solid 76-54 thrashing of BC Jan. 29 after sweeping last year's season series. The Hurricanes have won six of the last eight matchups overall. Boston College still leads the all-time set by a 24-14 margin.
The Hurricanes' offense can be explosive with four very capable scorers balancing the attack. The junior duo of Scott and Kenny Kadji lead the effort with 13.0 and 12.8-point per game averages, respectively. The senior Grant serves as Miami's best three-point shooter with 57 on 31.8 percent shooting while adding 11.3 ppg. Reggie Johnson, reinstated by the NCAA prior to Wednesday's win after a brief eligibility issue, had 10 points and eight boards versus NC State and adds a healthy 10.6 ppg to the Hurricanes' bottom line. The junior also serves as the team's leading rebounder at 7.0 per game with Kadji kicking in 5.8 rpg and Scott 5.3 boards. Overall, Miami-Florida averages 71.6 ppg on 43.4 percent shooting while the defense yields 67.1 ppg and a 41.9 shooting percentage. Miami's rebounding game remains a bit suspect, breaking even with the opposition at 35.2 per game.
The Eagles' offense resides dead last in the ACC at 59.3 ppg on a league-low 40.8 percent shooting. The freshman Anderson leads the team in scoring with an 11.0-point average and ranks among the league leaders in rebounding at 7.1 per contest. The junior Humphrey posts 10.3 ppg and lands 52 threes at a 32.3- percent rate while freshman Dennis Clifford chips in 9.1 ppg and 4.2 rebounds while pacing the club in field-goal percentage (52.0 percent). Unfortunately for Boston College, the defense doesn't do much to help its cause, surrendering 67.9 ppg on a 43.4 shooting percentage, leaving the club with by far the conference's worst scoring margin (minus-8.6). The Eagles' rebounding game also stands last in the ACC, and by a wide margin at minus-6.2 (35.9-29.6).
Miami should have little trouble dispatching the inexperienced Eagles, and will have to await the outcome of their fellow ACC counterparts to see about a coveted bye into the quarterfinals.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Miami-Florida 70, Boston College 58
03/03 10:37:08 ET