UNC 83, BC 60: Young Eagles Don’t Quit, But Fall in ACC Opener


Boston College basketball entered this contest as 31-point underdogs; as it turns out, the bookies (and I) underestimated the Eagles.

On Saturday afternoon in Chapel Hill, NC, North Carolina defeated Boston College, 83-60. The loss drops the Eagles to 5-10 (0-1) on the season and gives them a hard lesson about the realities of ACC play.

The first half began like many of the Eagles’ first halves do: with BC close or leading. Granted, North Carolina came out of the gate sluggish and playing bored, but the combination of them coming alive and the Eagles committing an extraordinary number of turnovers let the game slip away from the Eagles. In total, BC turned it over 11 times before halftime, but shot 44% from the floor and also went 3-12 from beyond the arc. Additionally, they missed four of their six free-throw attempts in the first half (missed 6 of 9 for the game).

The second half began very sloppy for the Eagles as they missed shots, committed more turnovers, and demonstrated lack of awareness. On a number of occasions during the game, the Eagles got down to the end of the shot clock and took violations on several, and this is not the first time. Luckily, that’s something which can be corrected.

As it continued, however, UNC looked bored again, and that gave BC an opportunity to cut the deficit, which they did. At one stage, the Eagles had narrowed the gap from 20+ to just nine points, though Carolina eventually pulled away again to win by a substantial margin. The final margin was not necessarily indicative of how pesky the Eagles were.

BC’s most major problem was turnovers, of which they committed 19. By contrast, the Eagles did much better in rebounding than expected. The rebounding margin was only 41-27, and considering that North Carolina is the nation’s best rebounding team while BC is one of the worst, this is somewhat of a stunning development.

For some perspective, Boston College was at a distinct disadvantage in virtually every statistical category imaginable, were completely unable to hold onto the basketball, and looked like they had never seen a shot clock before. Still, it took North Carolina until later on in the second half to put the game away, as they let off the gas a few times and, to their credit, BC was able to capitalize. There is no question which team is better, but the Eagles did not mail it in at any point during the game. Overwhelmed, yes, but quit, no.

Few on the Boston College end expected a better outcome, and though they lost, this wasn’t bad. The Eagles’ next game will be on Thursday night as they head home to face Clemson, a team which has looked rather ordinary for most of the season.