Miami Hurricanes Could Beat ACC Bubble Teams Down the Stretch

By Taylor Sturm
Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

After coming off of an historic upset over the No. 1 undefeated Syracuse Orange, the Boston College Eagles were hopeful that they could turn their abysmal season around and finish with positive momentum moving forward. The Miami Hurricanes crushed that hope, as they destroyed the Eagles 69-42.

Patrick Heckmann led Boston College with 15 points, but the Eagles were unable to break Miami’s defense, which held them to just 33 percent from the field and forced 10 turnovers. The Hurricanes had four players score in double-digits and were led by Rion Brown, who had 22. By going 50 percent from three-point range and almost 50 percent from the floor, Miami dominated Boston College from the opening tip-off.

At 14-13, the Hurricanes have the type of record that most people expected them to have before the season began. They aren’t expected to make the 2014 NCAA tournament, but will be disappointed, because they have had multiple opportunities to win enough games. Miami has lost seven games by five or less points, making them one of the more dangerous ACC teams down the stretch.

In an extremely middle-heavy ACC, teams that aren’t the Duke Blue Devils, Syracuse Orange, Virginia Cavaliers, North Carolina Tar Heels or Pittsburgh Panthers are all competing for most likely one other spot in the 2014 NCAA tournament or a No. 1 seed in the NIT. Miami needs a miracle to make it to the NCAA tournament, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t finish out the season strong, ruining others teams’ chances.

The Hurricanes still face three teams desperate for enough wins to jump back into the NCAA tournament bubble talk. The Clemson Tigers, Wake Forest Demon Deacons and North Carolina State Wolfpack cannot afford to drop a game to Miami or their tournament dreams will be crushed once and for all. The Hurricanes are good enough to defeat all three.

Miami won’t go to the 2014 NCAA tournament, but a lot of teams will look back on their game with the Hurricanes as the one that kept them out of the Big Dance too.

Taylor Sturm is an SEC Basketball Writer for Follow him on Twitter @TSturmRS, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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