Following Pitt Win, Eagles First Out in ESPN Bracketology Projections

Three Boston College women’s basketball players finished with 14 points, and the Eagles shot above 35% from downtown for the fourth game in a row, all of which have been wins.

Joanna Bernabei-McNamee’s team led Pittsburgh by as many as 21 points Thursday night and held on for a 75-64 victory, improving to 12-4 overall and 3-2 in ACC play.

With the win, the Eagles are now the first team out in Charlie Creme’s latest ESPN bracketology projection for the 2022 NCAA Tournament. At the moment, Creme has seven ACC teams in the field: North Carolina State, Duke, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Louisville and Notre Dame.

Aside from BC, the rest of the first four out includes USC, UMass and Gonzaga.

The Eagles haven’t made the NCAA Tournament since the 2005-06 season. That year, the Eagles made the Sweet Sixteen. It was their third such trip of the 2000s.

The last time BC was in a postseason tournament was 2010-11 when Sylvia Crawley’s Eagles made the WNIT Sweet Sixteen. BC was on the bubble in 2019-20 when it racked up 20 wins, including 11 against league opponents, and made the ACC Tournament semifinals. But, because of COVID-19, the NCAA Tournament was canceled that season.

This year’s Eagles team has won four straight games and three consecutive against ACC foes.

At Pitt, breakout freshman center Maria Gakdeng scored 10 second-half points and, for the second game in a row, logged five blocks.

Gakdeng, Cam Swartz and Makayla Dickens were the Eagles’ leading scorers. BC entered the second quarter with a 21-16 lead and padded its cushion with a dominant frame. The Eagles held Pitt to 2-of-9 shooting in the period while jumpstarting things with an 8-0 run.

BC finished the half 7-of-8 from long range and went into intermission with a 38-25 advantage, a lead that it never relinquished.

The Eagles’ three ACC wins are against teams that are a combined 1-15 in conference competition. The real test will be Sunday’s rematch against No. 3 Louisville, which toasted BC by 30 in the teams’ first meeting this season.

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