No matter what happens the rest of the way, nobody could have expected such a good year out of the Miami Hurricanes. Miami has never been known as a basketball power, but this year looks like the first steps in that direction. Whether or not they go in that direction will be determined sometime down the road, but the journey this year is far from over.
The Miami program has only been in the ACC since 2004, so it really isn’t a shocker that they have yet to win an ACC Tournament title. Nine years are such a short time to try to grab something that elusive in such a hard conference. Now, thanks in large part to Jim Larranaga, Miami is only one game away from winning their first, of possibly many, ACC Tournament crowns.
Larranaga is not alone in this journey. The team also features the son of a former MLB great, Shane Larkin. Larkin has proved to be one of the best point guards in the country, always hitting shots when the team seems to need it the most.
He, along with his teammates (and somehow, Warren Sapp), have also found a way to bring swag back to “The U”. While it might seem like the most contrary of things, it has given Miami an identity it has lacked throughout the entire history of the program.
Later today, Miami will face-off against a traditional ACC power, the North Carolina Tar Heels. These two programs could not be any more different from any other two in the nation (Well, maybe Miami vs. Duke Blue Devils).
North Carolina is chalk full of history, plays with a level of “Been here before” attitude, and is coached by one of the most recognizable names in the sport. Miami is almost the complete opposite as they have almost no basketball history, they have not been here before, and despite their coach being good, casual fans have no idea who Larranaga is.
The NCAA Tournament is in Miami’s horizon, but that does not mean they won’t try to get some ACC lore that has avoided them since joining the league. It could be the start of something special, or this team could be a flash in the pan. However, I wouldn’t avoid missing the possible history that could be made, as I think the former is more likely than the latter.
Swag baby, the kids love it, and Miami got it.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. For the love of Sam Cassell, follow Joe on the mean streets of Twitter @JosephNardone