It's been too long
I apologize for being out of touch. I just got back from vacation and I am revving up for the big game on Thursday.
Unfortunately, we are not coming into the tournament with the head of steam that I would have liked, but I still think the team can do some damage. I will be traveling down to North Carolina for the game on Thursday, and I am cautiously optimistic.
Normally, I would not be excited to face a Bobby Knight team in the tournament. He is one of the game's most prolific coaches, and he has the ability to extract the very most from his teams. However, Mr. Knight has one trait that might lead to his demise on Thursday: stubbornness.
Bobby is known for his man-to-man defense, and he will not stray from this philosophy. This bodes well for the Eagles, who might be able to exploit potential mismatches inside with Jared. While the ACC Player of the Year has struggled of late, I expect him to break out of his slump on Thursday. Dudley has been visibly exhausted recently, and the time off should enable him to give his all on the national stage.
Duds will likely draw a match-up against 6-6 Alan Voskuil or 6-5 Martin Zeno. I hope for the later, since Zeno is one of Tech's leaders and I think Jared could force him to the bench with foul trouble.
I'm a little bothered by the lack of minutes that Marquez Haynes has played recently. I believe Haynes to be BC's best on-the-ball defender, and I think he could shut down (or at least slow down) Tech's Jarrius Jackson. Jackson is a senior leader, and will look to carry Tech offensively. Haynes might offer Rice some support defensively, though Rice should bring the ball up the court (otherwise Knight will look to capitalize on Haynes' turnover problem)
This game should be hard fought and painful to watch for the BC fan. In the end, my crystal ball tells me that the three-headed monster will come to play, and the Eagles will squeak it out, 65-61. That would leave BC with a major challenge in the Round of 32, in which the streaking Hoyas are the likely opponent. I have already started dreaming about this game- I just hope the rest of the team hasn't thought that far ahead...