Upsets in Big East Hoops, Duke Takes on Boston College

By Debbie B.

On Saturday, the Big East saw a change to its top spot thanks to #11 Georgetown (21-4, 11-3) defeating #8 Syracuse (22-5, 10-4) 57-46 in front of a NCAA record-breaking home crowd. Later in the day, #17 Marquette (19-7, 10-4) fell to Villanova (18-10,9-6), 60-56.

Georgetown Forward Otto Porter

The Hoyas now sit at the top of the near-extinct Big East Conference. Syracuse, Marquette and Louisville are all tied at 10-4 for the second spot. This should make things very interesting and on March 9, Georgetown will end its regular season against Syracuse.

It is a hot team lately but is 60 to 1 win it all in April.

In the southeast, #2 Miami (22-4, 13-1) lost to Wake Forest (12-14, 5-9) 80-65 on Saturday. With the loss, the Hurricanes snapped their 14-game win streak and blemished their perfect conference record.

Miami’s Shane Larkin said of the loss via ESPN, “You could just see it tonight. I had a bad feeling coming into warm-ups with everybody going slow. I was trying to get people to go fast, and I wasn’t even going full speed like I should have. Overall, we weren’t prepared before the game and they came out and punched us in the mouth.”

The team still sits at the top of the ACC with #6 Duke (10-3, 23-3) in the second spot. They will play bottom of the conference Boston College (12-14, 4-9) on Sunday. Looking ahead, they’ll play Miami on Saturday but finish up against its rival North Carolina (18-9, 9-5) who sit in the third ACC spot.

For Duke, they have 9 to 1 odds to win the National Championship.

Duke vs. Boston College

In the team’s last meeting on Feb. 10, the Blue Devils eked out a 62-61 win. They will look for another victory against them to keep their perfect home record alive.

Boston College enters the game with a five-game road loss streak but it has won their last two of three games overall.

Duke Forward Mason Plumlee

For Duke, there’s a few additional reasons to seek a win on Sunday. The click is ticking and it only has four games left to catch up to Miami. With a win, they’ll only sit two games behind.

Aside from next weekend’s meeting, Duke will play Virginia on Thursday and could be in an even better position by then.

Should they lose either of their next two games, it could affect Duke’s chances to grab a top seed for the ACC conference tournament, which begins on March 14.

But lucky for them, they play well against Boston College, winning 15 of 17 games and since the Eagles joined the ACC, they have won 11 of 12 games. Like many teams, the Eagles struggle playing at Cameron Indoor Stadium; they have lost six games by a 17.7-point average.

In the most recent one, Duke’s Mason Plumlee hit three free throws with just 46 seconds remaining and had 19 points with 11 rebounds in the game.

Teammate Seth Curry added 18 points and recently has been playing well: 25 points vs the Terrapins and 22 points in Thursday’s win against Virginia Tech. This came from five 3-pointers for 19 total points in the first 20 minutes.

From his three games against Boston College, Curry has an 18.7-point average (55.2 percent shooting) and in the Eagles’ Jan. 27, 2011 visit to Durham, 20 points.

For the Eagles, Tuesday’s win came against Maryland, 69-58, who had just beat Duke last week, 83-81. Their freshman guard Olivier Hanlan had a career-high 26 points.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski noticed said of the team via ESPN, “Hanlan is playing great for them and (Boston College is) playing their best basketball of the year right now.”

In their previous game, Hanlan led the team in scoring with 20 points followed by the team’s leading scorer Ryan Anderson (15.1 ppg) adding 17 points.

With Duke’s win (-17, 142.5 o/u) on Sunday, Krzyzewski will be two games away from tying former North Carolina coach Dean Smith for the second-highest at one school.