The Miami Hurricanes closed out the regular season on Saturday with a convincing, 82-61 victory over the Virginia Tech Hokies. UM knocked down 10 three-pointers in the first period, en route to a, 46-18 halftime lead. The Hokies opened the second half with a spirited 10-2 run, but the Canes dropped five more threes and still won by 21.
Angel Rodriguez remained sidelined, but it made no difference as Miami owned cellar-dwelling Virginia Tech from the get-go. Manu Lecomte scored 20 points in the win, while Ivan Cruz Uceda came off the bench and added 18 of his own. James Palmer was close behind with a 17-point effort—and a perfect 5-of-5 on 3-point attempts.
The Canes pulled down 31 rebounds, had 15 assists and shot 60% from beyond-the-arc—tying a school record with 15. It was also Miami’s 20th win on the year—something it’s accomplished three of the past four seasons.
While this week’s road wins over Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh were necessary and clutch, Miami still has some work to do regarding a berth in the NCAA Tournament. The Canes are 20-11 overall (10-8 in conference) and early losses to Green Bay and Eastern Kentucky weigh down solid road wins at Duke and Syracuse, as well as close losses to Virginia, Notre Dame and Louisville.
The ACC Tournament gets underway on Tuesday March 10th and sixth-seeded Miami’s first action takes place at 9:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, when it will face the winner over No. 11 Wake Forest and No. 14 Virginia Tech.
The Canes obviously need to knock off the Demon Deacons or the Hokies, followed by an upset of third-seeded Notre Dame on Thursday for a realistic shot at a tourney berth. One win in Greesboro could punch the Canes’ ticket to The Big Dance, while two would all but confirm it.