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Notre Dame Basketball: Boston College Game Preview

At this point, any win will be a big win...

NCAA Basketball: Notre Dame at North Carolina State Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Even with the return of Matt Farrell to the lineup against NC State on Saturday, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish had no firepower on offense and got blown out for the second straight game. It seems that they’re finally out of gas after doing all they could just to stay alive this long. It’s been over a month since the Fighting Irish scored 80 points in a game, but this losing streak has to stop sometime, right? With two matchups against Boston College and one against Wake Forest and Pittsburgh ahead, the time is now to turn things around.

Quick Facts:

  • This will be the 30th meeting between Notre Dame and Boston College, with the Fighting Irish leading the all-time series 19-10.
  • Notre Dame has won nine straight games against Boston College, including all eight matchups between the teams as ACC opponents.
  • Notre Dame has never lost eight straight games under Mike Brey.
  • The last time the Fighting Irish lost seven straight games was all the way back in 2009.
  • Notre Dame has shot below 40 percent as a team in its last eight games.

WHEN: Tuesday, February 6, 2018, 8 p.m. ET

WHERE: Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center

HOW TO WATCH: ACC Network broadcast with Tom Werme and Mike Gminski. The broadcast is available at any of the ACC Network affiliates, locally on WMYS and a live stream is also accessible.

Notre Dame Basketball Radio Network with Jack Nolan and Zach Hillesland. Available locally at WSBT AM-960, FM-96.1, worldwide on WatchND.tv and via network affiliates. The broadcast also will be available on Sirius 134, XM 381 and SiriusXM Internet at 962.

Boston College Eagles (14-9, 4-6 ACC)

NCAA Basketball: Georgia Tech at Boston College Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Boston College is like most other teams in the ACC, with a few great wins and some very close losses against good teams. The Eagles played possibly their best game of the season in a win against Duke way back in December. A few weeks later they lost by a point to Virginia and by four points to Clemson in back to back games. They also went on to beat Florida State, but lost to Syracuse.

The Eagles are led by junior guard Jerome Robinson, who is a serious candidate for the All-ACC first team. He has scored 20 points or more in 10 games this season and is averaging 23.1 in conference play. Robinson leads the ACC in three-point shooting at a ridiculous 50 percent clip in league games.

Sophomore guard Ky Bowman is also one of the most well-rounded players in the country. He is the only player in the nation to average at least 16.8 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists per game, and the only player to post such a stat line since 1996. At 6-foot-1, Bowman’s 7 rebound average is also tops in the nation for a player that height or shorter.

As a team, BC tends to hoist a lot of shots from behind the arc. In its past three games Boston College has made at least 10 three-pointers, and it’s pulled that off 10 times this season. That trait gives the Eagles the ability to beat teams even when they shoot a lower percentage than their opponent, like they did in a win against Georgia Tech on Sunday.

With that said, one of BC’s main weaknesses is in the paint, where they have a -5.5 rebound margin on 33.9 rebounds per game in ACC play. The Eagles also struggle to take care of the ball with 17 more turnovers than opponents in conference games.

NCAA Basketball: Boston College at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Eagle to Watch:

Jerome Robinson, G, Junior

This one almost goes without saying. The 6-foot-6 guard is one of the most experienced players on a senior-less team and is the clear scoring leader. On the season he averages 19 points per game but his shooting percentages are ridiculous: 48.7 percent from the floor, 46.1 percent from three-point range and 83.5 percent from the free-throw line. He is an elite shooter and he doesn’t even lead the team in field goal or three-point attempts. The Fighting Irish will have to get out and contest on Robinson every trip down the floor.

Fighting Irish X-Factor:

Matt Farrell, G, Senior

Nothing can get the Fighting Irish back into the winning attitude than a dominant performance from Farrell. Assuming he stays healthy the rest of the way, Farrell has to put Notre Dame on his back and do some serious scoring. Since Boston College will probably shoot a lot of three’s, Farrell should do the same. But most importantly, he needs to control the pace of play and facilitate for T.J. Gibbs on the wings and Martinas Geben in the post.

Prediction:

Notre Dame 82 - Boston College 65

Alright, this is the one. I can feel it. I’ve talked myself into it at this point. As long as the Fighting Irish can contain the Boston College guards and not let them hit too many three’s I think they’ll be in good shape. But with that, Notre Dame needs to shoot the ball better than 40 percent for a change. Matt Farrell better come out angry, because he has to be sick of losing by now. The Fighting Irish are long overdue and they will finally crack 80 points in this one.