With nine conference wins heading into Saturday afternoon’s home game against North Carolina, the University of Miami (18-3, 9-0) already has matched last season’s total for league victories, which were the most since the Hurricanes began competing in the Atlantic Coast Conference in the 2004-05 season.
The best conference record ever for the Hurricanes is the 15-3 mark set by the 1998-99 team when it was competing in the Big East.
Including that season, the Hurricanes managed to get into double digits in conference wins only four times in 13 years in the Big East.
Thus a win over the Tar Heels would give the Hurricanes their first 10-win season in the ACC.
Some other firsts, according to Miami publicists, for the Hurricanes this season:
-- A win over a team ranked No. 1 (Duke).
-- A No. 8 ranking in the Associated Press poll, matching the program’s highest ever.
-- Three wins over teams in The Triangle (North Carolina, Duke, North Carolina State).
-- Three wins over teams ranked in the Top 25 at the time of the meeting (Michigan State, Duke, N.C. State).
-- A win over N.C. State in Raleigh.
-- A 9-0 start in league play (previous best was 5-0 in 1997-98).
In addition, an expected full house of 7,972 Saturday will be the third sellout at the BankUnited Center this season, also a program first. The games against Duke and Florida State also sold out this season.
And if the Hurricanes win, they will sweep the Tar Heels for the first time in the program’s history as well. They won 68-59 in Chapel Hill on Jan. 10, snapping a 10-game losing streak in the series.
They have beaten the Heels only two other times, on Jan. 4, 2003, in their first game in their on-campus arena and again on Jan. 14, 2006.