ACC Championship Game Preview

#1 Duke vs. #3 Boston College
When: Sunday afternoon at 1 pm
Television Coverage: RJ (WFMY Channel 2) & ESPN

Duke vs. Boston College was not the championship match-up many had in mind as fans entered a jammed packed Greensboro Coliseum for Semifinal Saturday. Much like the ACC Women’s Tournament, the Semifinals produced a Championship Game that will feature only one half of the envisioned dream Sunday match-up of Duke and North Carolina. Duke survived Saturday for the ninth year in a row while UNC lost a hard fought game to ACC newcomer Boston College.

So now the stage is set for Sunday, BC vs. Duke. They met only once during the regular season with Duke escaping Chestnut Hill with a narrow victory. In that contest, there was plenty of end-game drama involving the officials and some questionable calls. That should only add to the pre-game drama heading into this one.

Both teams saw things in their semifinal games that should make them hopeful about their chances in Sunday’s Championship Game. The Blue Devils’ supporting cast stepped up and played well. The long held belief that Duke is a two man show might not be as true as once thought. Even with Redick slowed by injury, the Devils found a way to win. BC looked down right nasty in their win over the Tar Heels. Going in, many thought that BC’s size and strength would give the Heels trouble inside and it did. Boston College runs a “flex” offense and so far this weekend, it has looked pretty hard to defend. The Eagles also bring in a Big East mentality in terms of phsyical play. The Blue Devils will need to be ready to take the gloves off and prepare for a physical, tough game. Don’t be surprised if tempers flair because of this. Also, don’t expect the refs to tone down the tenor of the contest. After the game at Boston College, the refs will be far more likely to “let them play” and that bodes well for the Eagles.

Now for the prediction. We picked the Eagles to beat Carolina and they did. We should have picked them to beat Maryland but we did not. On Championship Sunday, we are going to stick with the Eagles. Duke has Coach K and tons of championship experience but I was really struck with how loose BC has played in this tournament, especially Saturday. Basically playing in front of a sea of light blue, BC stayed composed and kept with their game plan. Duke is going to have a lot of problems handling Boston College in the low post. This will be one heck of a game if both teams bring their A-game. I believe they will and Boston College will win a barn burner.