UNC, Duke, and Louisville are the ACC’s top 10 teams. Florida State and Notre Dame when they are playing their best look like they can reach the final 4. Georgia Tech is the ACC’s surprise team, and Virginia Tech is playing for their first NCAA bid in several years. With so many ACC storylines, we’ve kind of forgot about the Miami Hurricanes.
Suddenly the Canes have become one dangerous looking team heading into March. They’ve won 7 of their last 9 games and that has included wins over North Carolina, Virginia Tech, and after Monday night a road win at Virginia. By the way ever since Virginia lost at Villanova blowing a late lead, that team has mentally went in the tank.
They need to get their confidence back and quick. For Miami though, I think they’ve locked up a NCAA bid too at (19-8) 9-6. Even if Miami loses out with a loss in the first round of the ACC Tourney, they still finish 19-12 (9-9). Any team that finishes .500 in the ACC is making the Big Dance. It is a year where the bubble is historically weak.
The committee may not look at conferences directly, but they look at the teams you play and beat and with the ACC as the nation’s #1 conference – who you play matters. Miami is doing this without their starting PG Ja’Quan Newton serving a 3 game suspension too.
That’s Jim Larranaga for you though. In a conference full of hall of fame coaches, Larranaga is one of the most underrated coaches in college basketball. This isn’t a super talented Miami team, but they have multiple ball handlers and scorers. 7 players average more than 5 points a game. They are sneaky good defensive team that is also a better rebounding team than you’d think.
If you are looking for a darkhorse team in the ACC Tournament, it might just be the Miami Hurricanes. When Jim Larranaga starts dancing the Hurricanes are playing well.
Locker room is lit. pic.twitter.com/8uN6NDQP1q
— Canes Hoops (@CanesHoops) February 21, 2017