GREENVILLE, North Carolina (CBS4) – The University of Miami Hurricanes were staring squarely in the face of getting bounced out of the ACC Tournament Thursday. Then, what can only be described as one of the most epic collapses ever gave Miami new life.
Miami was down by 10 points with around 40 seconds to go in the game. Then, a combination of clutch three pointers and turnovers by the University of Virginia helped Miami score 10 points in 40 seconds to send the game into overtime.
Once the Hurricanes got into overtime, they took over and knocked off the Cavaliers 69-62.
Malcolm Grant poured in 16 points to help the ninth-seeded Hurricanes into the second round.
“I thought our guys showed a lot of character,” Miami coach Frank Haith said. “I’m really proud of these guys because we’ve had some adversity all year in terms of tight ballgames. You’ve got to give these guys credit in not quitting and making plays down the stretch to give us a chance to win.”
The Hurricanes had good reason to believe they could rally against the eighth-seeded Cavaliers (16-15). In the only regular-season meeting, Miami rallied from five down with 38.9 seconds left to force overtime and win 70-68 in Charlottesville on Feb. 5.
“Coach just told us in the huddle to never stop believing,” Grant said. “We have a lot of time left. And our assistant coach, he told us that the same thing happened when we played them. We had a lot of confidence, and we just went out there and kept playing. You see what happens when you just keep playing.”
Now the Hurricanes are preparing for another shot at sixth-ranked and top-seeded North Carolina — which beat the Hurricanes on a last-second 3-pointer in January — in Friday’s quarterfinals.