NC State goes for the rare 3-0 sweep when it faces Boston College in the first round of the 2012 ACC Tournament on Thursday afternoon. The Eagles will be trying to start the most improbable tournament run in league history, though they almost certainly don't have the skills to sustain a weekend's worth of fluky above-average play.
In the first two meetings the season, Boston College didn't shoot well from beyond the arc, which is something of an issue when 40+% of the team's shots come from out there. The Eagles rank 289th nationally in offensive efficiency and they finished dead last in league play, though the three-point shooting wasn't the big problem. They're shooting 34% from three on the year (and in league play), which at least qualifies as passable. Everything else was the problem. And I mean literally everything else--turnovers, rebounding, free throw shooting, two-point shooting, the frequency with which their shots are blocked or balls are stolen. They've cracked 1.0 points per possession in just a single game this calendar year.
State didn't shoot the ball very well in the second meeting, and Boston College did a good job depriving the Pack of second chance opportunities. The turnover battle was essentially even. If the Eagles want to keep Thursday's game close and give themselves a shot at an upset, they must repeat that defensive rebounding effort. They're going to need some help from State as well, because if State's shooting well, it's going to be tough for BC to keep up no matter how well they rebound. And they'll have to breathe some life into that perimeter offense, which pretty much goes without saying.
NC State needs to take better care of the basketball and do a better job of attacking the rim against Boston College. Lorenzo Brown had an unusually rough performance up in Chestnut Hill, but I expect that to change. Calvin Leslie and Richard Howell have got to pace this team inside, and State needs to be more focused on finding them opportunities; the Pack has hit 54.5% of its twos against BC this year.