Yesterday was all about taking stock of what Boston College basketball achieved against teams from outside the Atlantic Coast Conference; today, there are eleven other teams inside the ACC who need evaluation relative to where BC stands. Nobody gains an NCAA Tournament bid in non-conference play but they sure can lose it (not that BC is in the running for one); conference play is where you make your biggest moves. It would be insulting to the intelligence of the audience to have to explain that BC will generally face better talent in the ACC than in the games before it, but it is nevertheless true. That’s also why it’s been such an area of concern. Given what we know of this conference so far, what will BC do this season?
Teams like Duke and NC State will present their major challenges, BC never wins at Clemson, and some of these other road games won’t be pretty, but these 2012-13 Eagles are not markedly worse than most of the teams in this conference. That will not necessarily translate into wins, but based upon what the 12 conference teams have done so far, BC is not so far out of its depth that they’ll glide to 3-15 or something like that. Games like the two against Miami may have gotten easier knowing that Reggie Johnson won’t be appearing in them, Virginia Tech is going the wrong way, the Eagles may well have passed Wake Forest, and BC will probably be competitive in a majority of their home games.
Count North Carolina State coach Mark Gottfried among those who are excited about the ACC's first 18-game schedule.
His 23rd-ranked Wolfpack have won seven straight as they begin conference play Saturday on the road against a young Boston College team that has won five in a row.
North Carolina State (11-2) completed the non-conference portion of its schedule by leading the nation in field-goal percentage at 53.5. The Wolfpack, whose 55.5 percent shooting the last six games is their best in any six-game span since the start of the 1996-97 season, were picked to win the ACC by league coaches and media, and were the conference's highest ranked team in the preseason at No. 6.