Boston College Eagles Choke Under Pressure Against Duke

Olivier Hanlan Boston College Eagles

The Boston College Eagles almost pulled out a stunning win over the No. 4 ranked Duke Blue Devils.

Almost.

Duke’s Mason Plumlee hit one out of two free throws with 26 seconds remaining in the game to give Duke a 62-61 lead.

So Close.

Boston College, who led Duke by as many as 8 points during the first half, came into the game tied for last place in the ACC. The Eagles had their chances though.

With the game tied at 61 apiece, Joe Rahon had a wide open 3-point shot attempt in the corner. Rahon, who was previously 0-3 from 3-point range, missed badly as his shot caromed off the top of the backboard and when Plumlee grabbed the rebound, he was unintentionally fouled by Boston College’s Eddie Odio.

With Duke in the double bonus, Plumlee made the backend of the pair of free throws and Boston College was down 62-61, but had another chance to win the game.

This time, Olivier Hanlan badly missed a 10 foot jump shot in the lane that bounced hard off the glass and was not able to be offensive rebounded.

The win would have been the pinnacle of the  season for the Eagles. The win would have assured that Duke would not have been the No. 1 ranking in the new AP poll that will come out on Monday. The win could have meant that the Gonzaga Bulldogs or the Miami (FL) Hurricanes would be the nation’s top team.

But the Eagle could not pull it off. They choked because of how well they had been playing and how bad their last two shots were. They were completely astray, and the misses did not give the Eagles offensive rebounds opportunities.

Even good misses could have allowed the Eagles another chance to win. Boston College could not pull it off, though. Not because they were outmatched or because they played poorly. No, they lost because they choked under pressure.  The Eagles could have capped a historic week that would have seen all of the top five teams in the country fall in the same week.  Almost.

Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo

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