MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The proverbial NCAA tournament bubble may have burst for the Miami Hurricanes Wednesday night in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Miami gave up a halftime lead and ended up losing to the North Carolina State Wolfpack, 77-73. The loss sent Miami’s record to 17-11 on the season, and just 8-7 in Atlantic Coast Conference play. Miami just couldn’t defend NC State’s offense in the second half of the game.
“For us to win the game, we had to defend better and get into the open court and get some good baskets from our perimeter players,” Hurricanes head coach Jim Larranaga said.
Miami lost the season series to the Wolfpack as well with the loss in Raleigh. NC State has never lost to Miami at home or at the school’s second home, the RBC Center.
But while the NC State loss stings, the likely loss of a chance to head to the big dance will be the toughest pill for the Canes’ players to swallow.
At 17-11, Miami’s record is not likely going to be good enough for the selection committee to pick the Canes as an at-large team.
Miami’s best chance to get into the tournament will be either a long-run in the ACC Tournament or winning the ACC Tournament. By winning the tournament, Miami would get an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
If the Canes can pull a few upsets of good teams and make it deep into the ACC Tournament, it might be enough for the committee to overlook the loss at NC State and a few others and invite the Canes into the tournament.
Outside of those two options though, Miami’s season will likely continue in the National Invitational Tournament, or NIT. Miami played in the NIT last year, but couldn’t make it deep into the tournament.
Making things more difficult for Canes fans will be seeing former head coach Frank Haith take Missouri to the tournament as a likely two-seed.
It does beg the question, if UM had been committed to basketball like Missouri is, could Haith have succeeded at Miami?
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