Boston College vs. UVA: Preview & Prediction

A look at today's matchup between the Eagles and Cavaliers
Author:
Publish date:

It's an afternoon affair on Saturday as the Boston College Eagles (2-8) look for their first ACC win agains the Virginia Cavaliers (6-2). The Eagles, who have dropped six out of their last seven, narrowly fell to Duke on Wednesday 83-82. While the Cavaliers have won four of their last five, only losing to Gonzaga. 

Time: 2:00 pm
Where: Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill, MA
TV: RSN Network
Radio: WEEI 850 (TuneIn App)
Current Line: UVA(-8)
ESPN Matchup Predictor: UVA has an 81.8% chance of winning this game.
Series History: Today's matchup is the 25th game between the two schools. Boston College is 8-16 against the Cavaliers, and 7-12 in ACC play. Last season the two squads split the season series with both winning their home matchups.

Screen Shot 2021-01-09 at 7.34.34 AM

Injuries: Per Jon Rothstein, Makai Ashton Langford is going to miss the game due to a knee injury. 

Player to Watch:  Jay Huff

Boston College has been notoriously weak in the middle against big men who can shoot the ball. Huff, at 7'1 gives UVA length the Eagles don't have an answer for. He can stretch the floor and shoot from the outside, and is dynamic inside averaging over two blocks a game. Averages 11.6 points per game, and 5.6 rebounds. 

Three keys to the game. 

1. Clean up on the defense end: One of the biggest issues with BC's defense has been their inability to switch up and leave players wide open for shots. On top of that they give up too many clean inlet passes inside. If BC wants to prevent a collapse, cleaning this up has to be a priority.

2. Cut down on careless turnovers: The Eagles are turning the ball over far too often, and the issue lies with the bad passes and careless errors. UVA is excellent on defense, allowing 60 points per game, and will take advantage of these mistakes. In last year's win against the Cavaliers, Boston College only turned the ball over 10 times. 

3. Guard the perimeter: In the win against the Cavaliers last year, BC was able to hold UVA to 18.8% from three point range. The defense held UVA to just 53 points. While that number is probably not going to be replicated, if BC can hold the line, they could be in good shape to pull off the upset. 

AJ's Fearless Prediction: Not ready to pick Boston College against a ranked team, as they continue to falter late in games. They are missing one of their key players in Ashton-Langford, but that didn't matter really against Duke. UVA's ability to make sloppy teams pay is going to be the difference maker here. Going with UVA, but think BC covers. UVA 70 BC 66