Syracuse travels up to Massachusetts to play Boston College (7:00 p.m. ET / ESPN2) on Tuesday. Ahead of the game, The Juice Online’s Steve Auger and Wes Cheng give their predictions below.
Season Record: 1-0
Syracuse looks for the season sweep of the Boston College Eagles when the Orange hits the road Monday night for their second-to-last ACC regular season game.
The Orange will have to quickly put aside their season-finale home loss to North Carolina if they are going to ground the Eagles. BC will be motivated to avenge a 26-point thumping Syracuse handed the Eagles back in the middle of January.
On the season, Syracuse has been up and down with opponents that they’ve played twice. The Orange swept Pittsburgh and Georgia Tech while splitting with Notre Dame, Virginia, and Virginia Tech. Syracuse has played better on the road in ACC game – 5-3 – than at the Carrier Dome – 4-6.
The Eagles come into the contest having dropped four of their last five games. At 13-16 on the year, and Jim Christian’s job possibly in jeopardy, it’s fair to wonder how BC will approach their own home finale.
In Syracuse’s earlier win, Buddy Boeheim and Elijah Hughes combined for 41 points, which almost equaled BC’s total for the game of 50 points. No Eagle broke double digits in the loss to the Orange.
Expect the Eagles to shoot better than 20-for-61, including 6-for-30 from beyond the arc, since they are at home. But Syracuse is the better team and Hughes, Boeheim, and Joe Girard should make just enough shots to escape with a 68-62 Syracuse win.
Season Record 17-3
Since Syracuse last met Boston College on Jan. 15, the Eagles have gone 4-8, to fall to 13-16 overall and 7-11 in conference. Even in BC’s four wins, their average margin of victory was 3.25 points.
Their most recent loss was a 62-61 heartbreaker to Notre Dame. The Eagles led until .1 seconds left on the clock, but TJ Gibbs flipped in a game-winner to and BC was dealt a third straight loss.
The Eagles continue to not be a particularly good offensive team, shooting 40.6 percent from the field and 30.1 percent from downtown. They also average more turnovers (13.4) than assists (12.5), which is why KenPom has their adjusted offensive efficiency rating at an abysmal 224th in the country.
KenPom also has Boston College ranked as the worst ACC team, coming in at 170. By way of reference, the next closest team is Pittsburgh at 110. Another interesting stat that I’ve looked at this season in making my predictions has been the luck rating, which is performance versus statistics.
Given BC’s struggles in nearly every statistical category, they should be in the ACC’s basement. But there are five other teams below Boston College, perhaps thanks to its luck ranking, which is 20th in the country. As I am a believer in regression to the mean, I predict the Eagles running out of luck hosting the visiting Orange, with Syracuse pulling away for a 77-68 win.