With Miami’s narrow 60-59 win over Boston College, the Hurricanes have improved to 4-0 in the ACC. As a reference, they’d never even been 2-0 to start conference play prior to this season. With an RPI prior to last night’s win at 5, UM is in great position to earn their way back to the NCAA tournament. But just how will the rest of the season play out?
Here’s what to expect moving forward as I project the ‘Canes remaining schedule.
Vs. Duke: This is a toss-up with the Blue Devils missing Ryan Kelly, but the size of Duke still figures to be a bit too much for Miami similar to the way Arizona’s was without Reggie Johnson.
Vs. FSU: The ‘Noles are not what they were last season but are slowly rounding into respectable form. At home, UM takes it however.
@Virginia Tech: The Hokies started strong but have badly faded as of late and have a lot of defensive issues in the post-Seth Greenberg era. UM takes it.
@NC State: The Wolfpack were the preseason favorite to win the ACC and are simply deeper and more talented. It’s possible that UM can win, but file it away as an "L".
Vs. Boston College: The Eagles are a scrappy bunch, but UM will play with a sense of urgency in this one following the loss to the Wolfpack and emerge victorious.
Vs. North Carolina: Expect the Tar Heels to be playing better by then, but Miami’s perimeter is simply better than UNC’s. ‘Canes win in a close one.
@ Florida State: Leonard Hamilton’s teams always crank up the defense later in the year, and although I may very well be wrong on this, it says here FSU prevails.
@Clemson: Clemson’s one of the bottom-feeders in the league this year, and although nothing is a given as the Boston College game proved, Miami should win this one.
Vs. Virginia: The Cavaliers don’t have the offense to take down Miami in Coral Gables, and UM will continue its impressive home-court play.
@Wake Forest: See @ Clemson. ‘Canes win.
Vs. Virginia Tech: Miami’s likely to be too much for the Hokies once again.
@ Duke: By far the toughest game on what is generally a pretty easy closing slate. Miami won at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Super Bowl Sunday for the first time ever, but the matchups aren’t in UM’s favor. The Blue Devils will notch a second victory against the Hurricanes in this one.
Vs. Clemson: UM rebounds with a solid victory over the Tigers.
Vs. Georgia Tech: Expect the Jackets to play better than they did in the ACC opener in Atlanta, but UM still prevails on Senior Day/Night.
So, that adds up to UM sitting at 23-7 overall and 14-4 in the ACC. That’s pretty heady stuff for Miami Hurricanes basketball. Figure that Miami if gets a win, maybe two (who knows, even more?) at the ACC Tournament to finish up with 24-25 wins that they’re looking at roughly a 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament were this to play out. If a win against Duke were to be thrown in, that seed could grow higher or vice versa with bad losses.
In short, this is an exciting season for fans of the Miami Hurricanes basketball program.