Rushed Reactions: #9 Miami 87, North Carolina 61Posted by nvr1983 on February 9th, 2013
Rush the Court’s East Coast boss was courtside from Miami’s dominating victory over North Carolina. Here are his three thoughts from the game:
- Miami is playing like a #1. And we are not just talking about a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. With the way that teams have been losing in the past few weeks you can start to make a legitimate case for the Hurricanes as a potential #1 team in the country. Sure they don’t play in the Big Ten, which is by far the best conference in the country this season, and the ACC may be down this year, but there is something to be said for beating the teams you are supposed to beat. Now I probably wouldn’t pick the Hurricanes to win the Big Ten, but it is hard to argue against a team that hasn’t lost a game when it has had its full roster. Don’t be surprised to see the Hurricanes at or at least near the top of the polls on Monday.
- UNC is getting close to the bubble. If the Selection Committee had to make up a bracket tomorrow the Tar Heels would probably still be in, but they are getting perilously close to being on the wrong side of that bubble. Now they have to bounce back from this embarrassing loss to travel to Cameron to take on a Duke team that has played well since they were embarrassed in their trip to Coral Gables. After that they still have a game against NC State and another game against Duke to end the regular season. If they stumble in any other games or get knocked out early in the ACC Tournament it could be a very nervous Selection Sunday in Chapel Hill.
- Miami is putting together a great season, but maybe not a great program. Obviously this season has been a great one for the Hurricanes program even if they fall apart later in the season, but don’t be so quick to put them up with the ACC’s elite. Joining that group requires consistency and the Hurricanes have only put together part of one season. The media is trying to spin a narrative that Jim Larranaga has built up this program to be one of the best in the ACC going forward, but that isn’t the reality of the situation. Outside of Shane Larkin the entire starting lineup will be gone after this season and the incoming class is not exactly stellar (two recruits: one four-star and one three-star). The hope for Miami’s fans should be that this season shows recruits what can happen at Miami (and that the shots of the weather outside during the games can be some extra motivation).
Sights and Sounds: The biggest scene at the game was clearly LeBron James and Dwyane Wade sitting courtside (along with former Hurricane James Jones, who was basically ignored by the crowd), but there were also a few other notable individuals in the stands including Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak, who was either their supporting his alma mater or scouting (hopefully the latter). Miami Hurricane games may never turn into the scene that Heat games are, but there is enough star power in and around Miami that there couldn’t be a few celebrities there for every game.
- “I know they lost to Florida Gulf Coast. I’d hate to play Florida Gulf Coast.” –Roy Williams
- “#1 right now doesn’t mean anything. We want to be #1 at the end of the season.” –Kenny Kadji
- “They [LeBron and Wade] called early in the week and we told them ‘Sorry, but we’re sold out.’ Then we found some room.” – Jim Larranaga
- “I mostly look at the Ken Pom stats” – Jim Larranaga
What’s Next? For UNC, their next game is at Duke, which we would normally expect to be a blowout, but with rivalry games you never know and we doubt that the Tar Heels will come out flat especially after the beating they took today. As for the Hurricanes (outside of the possibility of a #1 ranking on Monday), they have a road game at FSU as part of a finishing stretch that looks fairly easy with the exception of a March 2 trip to Duke that might end up being one of the biggest games of the regular season.