For Boston College coach Jim Christian and Wake Forest’s Danny Manning, their first regular season in the Atlantic Coast Conference has finally come to an end.
Olivier Hanlan scored 19 points with eight assists on Saturday to help BC finish the year with a 79-61 victory over Wake Forest. It was the third straight Atlantic Coast Conference win for Boston College (12-18, 4-14), which didn’t win consecutive conference games all of last season under Steve Donahue.
Asked what he learned from his first year in the ACC, Christian said: “When you get opportunities to win, you’ve got to win.
“There’s going to be times in this league where you’re going to play really, really well and lose,” Christian said. “It’s that type of league.”
Wake Forest (13-18, 5-13) might have felt that way last month, when it lost by one point at second-ranked Virginia. The Demon Deacons followed that with losses to then-No. 10 Notre Dame and another to Virginia – this one a blowout – and then, after a victory over Pittsburgh, a loss to third-ranked Duke.
Boston College had struggled, losing 11 of its first 12 ACC games before winning the last three.
“I knew it was a tough league coming into it,” said Manning, the former Kansas star and first overall NBA draft pick who spent two years as the Tulsa head coach before taking over in Winston-Salem. “I knew we would be playing against great players, really tough coaches.”
Codi Miller-McIntyre scored 24 for Wake Forest.
Both teams had already locked up seeds among the bottom four in the ACC tournament.
Wake Forest finished 11th in the conference, one spot above BC, and will play last-place Virginia Tech in the opening round on Tuesday. Boston College will play 13th-place Georgia Tech for the right to join the rest of the league in the second and third rounds.
“It doesn’t really matter who we play,” said Patrick Heckmann, who scored 14 points. “We’re going to … try to keep the season going.”
Aaron Brown added 13 for the Eagles, who went on a 9-2 run in the final minutes of the first half to open a 10-point lead. BC led 49-40 in the second before scoring nine of the next 11 points. They followed with seven straight points to turn a 12-point lead into a runaway.