Pittsburgh at Boston College Preview: Running on Empty


Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

When the Boston College Eagles defeated the #1 Syracuse Orange at the Carrier Dome just under a week ago, things could have gone one of two ways for the battered 7-19 team.

One, they could actually build some momentum off of their victory and maybe even save the coach’s job in the process, or two, they could go right back to losing and start burning off what they earned.

The good news is that nobody can take away the Eagles’ win last Wednesday, but they did go back to losing and in a big way, to the tune of an embarrassing 27-point loss to the Miami Hurricanes.

Boston College went for it all in Syracuse, determined to beat an elite team that was admittedly playing a very bad game. This past weekend’s contest showed that the Eagles had all but nothing left to give thereafter in this lost season.

Tonight, when they face the Pittsburgh Panthers, an old Big East conference-mate, the Eagles will not be looking to build momentum, but they will be trying to start to get some again. The thing is, Boston College has done so much to thwart itself all season long that big wins like Syracuse are independent occurrences — flukes, if you will. On all but one occasion, Boston College’s wins were followed by losses. In other words, only one pair of consecutive wins. When it comes to being unable to build momentum, the Eagles have nobody to blame but themselves.

As for Pittsburgh, the Panthers are out of the rankings with five losses out of seven but still look to be in alright shape for March — for now. This is a big game for Pitt, who seem a lot like a 10-seed at present but are going to jeopardize themselves without a win at Boston College.

The player to watch on Pitt will be Lamar Patterson, who comes in near the top of the Panthers’ leaderboard in the big three: points, rebounds, and assists per game. By far, no Panther has taken more shots, which lends itself to his team-leading 17.2 points per game. He’s also responsible for 4.6 boards (2nd) and 4.4 assists (1st) per contest. Of the other starters, the guy you want to send to the free throw line is Talib Zanna, who has missed 63 freebies (102-of-165) this season.

Tip-off is at 8pm; if not at Conte Forum, see it on ESPN3 or your local ACC Network affiliate.