Sports, Top Story, Spring, Basketball, Men's Basketball

BC’s ACC Tournament Run Ends After 66–60 Overtime Loss to Virginia in Quarterfinals

In the 2021–22 season, Boston College men’s basketball suffered a heartbreaking overtime loss to Miami in the ACC Tournament’s quarterfinals.

Courtesy of a buzzer-beating Mason Madsen jumper, the Eagles earned a chance for redemption with another shot at the tournament’s semifinals on Thursday night. Instead, BC (19–15, 8–12 Atlantic Coast) scored only three points in the overtime period and closed the book on the same ending, falling to the Cavaliers (23–9, 13–7) by a final score of 66–60. 

“Just really happy that our guys showed a lot of character and played hard and played together and played very connected,” BC head coach Earl Grant said. “We came up short, but we played with a lot of energy, a lot of grit—very unselfish. And I hope our season will continue in the postseason.”

In what may have been the final game of his college career, Quinten Post logged 23 points and 13 rebounds. Post joined Duke’s Jayson Tatum and Zion Williamson as the only players in the last 10 years to record over 60 points and 30 rebounds in the ACC Tournament. 

After the game, the Eagles’ leading scorer echoed Grant’s hope for the program’s first NIT berth in six seasons.

“It’s very hard right now,” Post said. “On the one hand, we could be done, but we don’t want to be done. I feel like we deserve a shot to play in the NIT and I feel like we did enough to put ourselves in that spot … There’s some unfinished business for us.”

In the game’s opening minutes, Claudell Harris Jr. wasted no time torching the Cavaliers from long range. Harris notched three triples in as many minutes, propelling the Eagles to an early 9–2 lead. 

Post joined in on the splash party two minutes later, drilling a three to establish a double-digit BC lead. 

The Eagles held on to a steady advantage until both offenses cooled off significantly by the seven-minute mark. The Cavaliers eventually woke up and rode an 8–0 surge to take their first lead of the game with 4:06 left in the first half. 

That lead proved to be short-lived, though, as Madsen immediately shot back with a 5–0 run of his own. The Eagles finished the half with a 35–29 lead after the first 20 minutes—setting up what appeared to be a second-half dogfight for a spot in the ACC Tournament’s semifinals. 

“Every possession was hard,” Grant said. “That’s a very good defensive team, and it was a challenge. They did a good job taking things away.”

The Eagles held Reece Beekman—who dropped 18 points at Conte Forum in the Cavaliers’ Feb. 28 win over BC—to only three points on 1-of-6 shooting in the first half. The senior guard finished with 11 points on the night. 

Fighting for their NCAA Tournament lives, the Cavaliers went punch for punch with BC in the second half. By the period’s halfway mark, Jaeden Zackery and Devin McGlockton had each picked up three fouls, and Virginia took its first lead of the second half. 

But just as the Eagles looked like they had run out of steam, Post put together a quick 5–0 run to push BC back ahead 51–47 with less than nine minutes left on the clock.

As the clock dwindled down, Virginia—the ACC’s worst free-throw shooting team—gave BC chance after chance to pull away for good with misses at the line. While the Cavaliers only shot 44.4 percent from the line, they finished the game with an 18–4 edge in free-throw attempts.

“18–4 is a big disparity,” Grant said. “That’s a 14-point difference. I thought it was a physical game. I thought it was contact on both ends.”

With the Eagles unable to fully take advantage of their opponent’s free-throw misses, Virginia’s Jake Groves finally knocked down a pair of free-throws to put his team ahead 57–55 with under 30 seconds remaining, forcing the Eagles to conjure up some magic.

After Harris missed a deep three, Zackery corralled the rebound, and the ball eventually found Madsen, who secured the Eagles five more minutes of basketball. 

The clock struck midnight on BC in overtime, as the Eagles registered their only points of the period in its final minute, leaving the team one game short of the ACC Tournament semifinals.  

“You start to realize we have been doing a lot of heavy lifting the last three days—this is the third day,” Grant said. “I think, at the end, you could tell that [Virginia] had been off for a couple of days, and they had a fresh set of legs. … They got a great program. They’ve been good for years. We look forward to continue to better our program, so we can have that type of endurance in these games like this.”

March 15, 2024