FSU at Boston College preview and game thread

For the first time since 1998 the Seminoles are ranked in the AP top-15. How are they rewarded? By playing an untelevised game. That's right, your option for watching the Noles going for their 8th straight conference win is either through your computer or your X-box, and that's if you happen to get ESPN3. The Noles will also be competing with Georgetown/Syracuse and Kansas/Baylor for viewers, so it's safe to say that not many people will see what happens tonight in Chestnut Hill.

Boston College (7-16, 2-7) is currently at the bottom of the ACC. They've lost to Holy Cross, Penn State, Boston University, Providence, Rhode Island, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest. Entering conference play their signature win was against Stony Brook. Somehow they managed to beat Clemson and Virginia Tech in back-to-back home games, but have since lost six straight. Their level of suck is really no surprise, as BC has 10 new players on their roster, and their only returning players weren't ACC quality starters.

Their problems are deepest on the offensive end. Only two BCS conference programs have worse offenses, and both of those schools (Utah and USC) are in the horrible Pac-12. BC is averaging 0.85 points per possession in conference play, which is the worst since advanced stats became available. Not only have they failed to score a point per possession in any conference game, they've only scored more than 0.90 once. For reference, FSU scored 0.90 in the Princeton game. Their leading scorer, Oregon transfer Matt Humphrey, averages 10.1 points per game. They're 224th shooting 2s, 222nd shooting 3s, 300th in turnovers and 341st in offensive rebounding. FSU should shut this team down.

Defensively, the Eagles are a little better. They're 169th in defense, and do this by not sending players to the line (29th), and limiting - at least in ACC play - offensive boards (4th in conference-only games). Still, 169th is only good in comparison to their offense. Only Wake Forest plays worse defense in the ACC.

So how can BC possibly win this game? Two years ago when Notre Dame star Luke Harongody went down with a knee injury, the Irish were able to overcome this by moving to their "burn" offense, which was essentially designed to run as much clock as possible on every possession. By the time they reached the Big East Tournament it had become comical, and they had back-to-back 50 possession games (FSU averages over 68 a game). What does this have to do with BC? Well, after losses to NCST (73 possession game) and Wake Forest (71 possession game), BC head coach Steve Donahue implemented his own version of "burn." Since then they've played four games. The possessions in those games: 61, 62, 57, 57. It's the classic underdog strategy. Limit possessions and hope that the increased influence of luck works in your favor. Maybe it's best that this game isn't being televised.

The game tips at 7pm. Vegas has the Noles -12.5, and Ken Pomeroy has FSU -16.

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