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Wake Forest vs Boston College: Key Matchup

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The Deacs tip off the season against the Eagles

NCAA Basketball: Boston College at Wake Forest Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The 2019-2020 basketball season tips off tomorrow night for the Deacs on the road against the Boston College Eagles. With the football team having a historic run, I’m sure many of you would rather focus on that and completely forget about basketball season until after whatever bowl game the Deacs play in. For the rest of you, here’s a quick look at the key matchup for tomorrow night’s game that will likely be the deciding factor in who gets the win.

Key Matchup: Olivier Sarr vs. Nik Popovic

The key matchup against the Eagles will definitely be the battle down low between Olivier Sarr and Nik Popovic. Both are very similar in size and skill sets, but Popovic has been the better player thus far in his career, and he declared for the NBA draft at the end of last season but returned for his final year at BC.

The Deacs lost to the Eagles at home last season on a Ky Bowman 3-pointer late in the game, but it was Nik Popovic who did the most damage to Wake Forest, dominating this matchup to the tune of 21 points on 10-16 shooting and 11 rebounds. Sarr had just 4 points in 30 minutes but did add 11 rebounds as well.

Late in the game, Boston College isolated Popovic on Sarr and just let him go to work, which resulted in 3 straight baskets for the Eagles. Our 59-52 lead with 5 minutes left in the game quickly shrank to a 61-58 lead in the span of about a minute.

That, of course, allowed BC to ultimately tie the game and win on Bowman’s only 3-point basket of the game. With the loss of Bowman and Jordan Chatman on the wing, I’m guessing that BC will turn to Popovic more and more for points this season. He will likely get plenty of post up opportunities tomorrow.

In my mind, whoever wins this 1 on 1 matchup down low is going to come away with their first conference win of the season.