Who: Virginia Tech Hokies (19-8, 9-5 ACC) @vs Boston College Eagles (17-11, 7-7 ACC)
When: Tuesday, March 1 @ 9:00 p.m.
Where: Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, VA
The Opponent: Coming off an emotionally-charged victory over No. 1 Duke on Saturday night, the Hokies finish off their home schedule with Senior Night against Boston College. Tonight's ceremony, scheduled to start at 8:45 p.m., will honor one of Tech's greatest senior classes in Malcolm Delaney, Jeff Allen, and Terrell Bell. Walk-ons Prince Parker and Andrew Griffin will also be honored before the game.
BC comes in to town after a 63-44 victory at Virginia on Saturday afternoon. Since these two teams played about a month ago, the Eagles have lost 3 of 5, but all three losses have been by single digits. Simply put, this is a must-win game for BC if they want to make the NCAA Tournament. Their home loss to Miami last Wednesday was an absolute killer for their tournament hopes. In addition, BC can claim the series sweep and have an opportunity to catch Tech for 4th in the ACC with a victory.
Here’s a look at their projected starting lineup:
BC brings in basically the same lineup as last time. Reggie Jackson is one of the premier players in the ACC and is probably the third best guard in the conference behind Nolan Smith and Delaney. Jackson is averaging 18.2 ppg in conference play and is currently fourth in the ACC by shooting 49.5 percent on the season. Other than Jackson, BC's main scoring threat is 6'8" wingman Joe Trapani. The super senior has four double-doubles this season and led the Eagles with 14 points last time against Tech.
Off the bench, Corey Raji (6-6, 218) is averaging 12.2 ppg, which is third best on the team. No one else on the Eagles roster is averaging more than nine ppg in conference play. Dallas Elmore (6-5, 210) is Boston College's main defender off the bench and caused some headaches for the Hokies in limited playing time back in February.
Boston College is a team that loves to shoot the three ball. Nearly 40 percent of its offense comes from the deep ball, which they shoot at a 37 percent clip. In conference games, BC makes nine three-pointers a game, but scores just 67.9 ppg. Tech gave up seven three-pointers in Boston last month, but still held the Eagles to their second lowest point total (58) of ACC play. However, the Hokies shot just 34.5 percent and could not hit a shot at Conte Forum.
Erick Green was 0-for-8 in Boston, which I can guarantee will not happen tonight in Blacksburg. Delaney was 6-of-17 and I can guarantee he will not let that happen in what should be his final game in Cassell Coliseum. The one good thing for Tech last month against BC was the play of Jeff Allen, who scored 25 points and secured 19 rebounds, including eight on the offensive boards. The 25 points were the second-highest of Allen's career, behind a 30-point performance against Boston College his sophomore year.
This night will be a special night in Blacksburg for Delaney, Allen, and Terrell Bell. These three seniors have yet to play in a NCAA tournament game and got one big step closer with the win over Duke Saturday. That being said, the Hokies are not a definite lock and can not afford to lose both games this week. Tech needs to get to at least 10 conference wins and beating BC at home is a much easier task than going to Littlejohn Coliseum and beating a desperate Clemson team this coming Saturday.
I hope to see most of you in Cassell tonight. Obviously it will be tough to match the atmosphere of the Duke game Saturday, but these seniors deserve a great send off for all that they have given us over the last four years.