Boston College (20-12) at McNeese State (21-11)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, March 15th, 9:00 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Burton Coliseum (8,500) -- Lake Charles, Louisiana. Television: ESPNU. NIT Record: Boston College 16-11, McNeese State 1-2. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Boston College Eagles have traveled to Lake Charles, Louisiana for an NIT first-round game against the McNeese State Cowboys.
The winner of this game will advance to the second round to take on either fourth-seeded Northwestern or fifth-seeded Milwaukee.
The top seed in its bracket, Boston College is the only higher-seeded team in this tournament that will play a first-round game on the road. The Eagles enter this tournament with a 20-12 overall record and finished in a fourth- place tie in the ACC with a 9-7 mark. They are making their 11th all-time appearance in the NIT and own a 16-11 record in the event. The most recent appearance came back in 2003 when they knocked off Fairfield in the opening round before falling to Temple in the next round.
As for eighth-seeded McNeese State, it is playing in the NIT for just the third time and managed just one win in its previous two appearances. The Cowboys, who are 21-11 this season, won the Southland Conference regular season title, but a loss to Texas-San Antonio in the league tournament prevented a trip to the "Big Dance".
This game marks the first-ever meeting between Boston College and McNeese State on the hardwood.
There are four double-digit scorers in the fold for Boston College, which averages 71.6 ppg, slightly better than the 69.0 ppg it permits to opponents. Reggie Jackson is a First-Team All-ACC performer who paces the squad with 18.4 ppg on the strength of his 50.2 percent shooting from the field, including 41.9 percent from three-point range. Jackson has also handed out 145 assists and leads the club with 35 assists as well. Joe Trapani checks in with 14.8 ppg, and he is pulling down 7.1 rpg. Corey Raji (12.1 ppg) and Biko Paris (10.2 ppg) provide added balance to the lineup. In the club's ugly 23-point loss to Clemson in the quarterfinal round of the ACC Tournament, the Eagles shot a dismal 34 percent from the field.
Patrick Richard and Diego Kapelan form an impressive duo for McNeese State, as they are averaging 15.9 ppg and 15.0 ppg, respectively. Richard is also pulling down 6.4 rpg and has handed out 77 assists to go along with 41 steals, proof of his tremendous versatility. As for Kapelan, his output would be even better if not for the fact that he shoots below 40 percent from the field. Stephan Martin checks in with 10.4 ppg, while P.J. Alawoya is the team's fourth and final double-digit scorer (10.3 ppg). A 60.6 percent shooter from the field, Alawoya is ripping down 10.3 rpg, impressive to say the least. The Cowboys are generating 74.4 ppg while allowing 71.0 ppg to opponents.
Despite having to play on the road, Trapani and Jackson will lead the Eagles to victory. Expect BC to pull away in the second half.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Boston College 76, McNeese State 65
03/15 10:34:49 ET