Boston College-Virginia Preview
Another outstanding defensive effort - and one dramatic 3-point shot - have Virginia back in the Top 25 for the first time since November.
Now the Cavaliers will try to stay in the thick of the ACC race as they face a team that has struggled away from home.
No. 20 Virginia looks to match its longest league winning streak in seven years while dealing Boston College its eighth loss in nine road games Wednesday night.
After leading by 21 or more points in each of their first seven ACC wins, the Cavaliers (17-5, 8-1) needed a 3-pointer from Malcolm Brogdon with 0.4 seconds remaining to pull out a 48-45 victory at then-No. 18 Pittsburgh on Sunday.
Brogdon finished with a game-high 16 points and Akil Mitchell added 10 points and 12 boards as Virginia maintained sole possession of second place in the ACC.
Brogdon, averaging a team-best 11.8 points, has been on a roll heading into this contest. The sophomore guard has scored 16.5 per game while hitting 11-of-21 from 3-point range in his last six.
"He's strong. He can get into the lane. He's shown his completeness," coach Tony Bennett said. "He's got an ability to make big shots and he's pretty clutch at the line."
Brogdon also played a key role defensively, holding Pitt leading scorer Lamar Patterson to 10 points on 3-of-14 shooting. Virginia limited the Panthers to 31.9 percent shooting in the contest and held them without a field goal over the final 6:52.
Bennett's squad ranks near the top of the ACC in points allowed (55.5) and in the top 10 nationally in defensive field-goal percentage (37.8). It's also given up an average of 47.7 points on 36.0 percent shooting in its last three contests.
The Cavaliers look to continue that effort against the Eagles (6-15, 2-6), who have scored just 51.0 per game while shooting 40.6 percent in the last three meetings.
Boston College, however, snapped a two-game skid in this series when then-freshman Joe Rahon hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 8.2 seconds left in a 53-52 home win March 3.
Rahon has totaled 33 points with six 3s in his last two games overall, but Olivier Hanlan - among the ACC's top scorers at 17.9 points per game - will have to bounce back after posting a season-low five points on just five shots in a 76-73 overtime loss at Notre Dame on Saturday.
Ryan Anderson finished with 21 points and Lonnie Jackson added 15 as Boston College led most of the way before the Irish sank a 3-pointer with one second left in overtime.
Anderson scored a team-high 14 in a 65-51 loss to Virginia in the most recent meeting at John Paul Jones Arena on Jan. 26, 2013. Mitchell and Justin Anderson led the Cavaliers with 16 points apiece in that contest.
The Eagles have scuffled defensively while dropping seven of eight road games this season, allowing 79.4 points and a 48.4 field-goal percentage in those seven losses.
They could have a difficult time ending those woes against the Cavaliers, who have won 15 straight home games versus unranked conference opponents by an average of 18.1 points.
Boston College has lost 18 of its last 19 games against Top 25 opponents and nine in a row since a 64-60 victory over No. 15 Florida State on Feb. 8, 2012.
The Eagles also have dropped their last two visits to Charlottesville.