MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Carrying a number two ranking in the country, the University of Miami’s men’s basketball team will need to be on upset alert when it welcomes in the toughest defensive team in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Virginia, into the BankUnited Center Tuesday night.
Miami is coming off a nail-biter victory over Clemson Sunday when the Canes won after Clemson missed a last-second layup and put-back opportunity. Miami struggled from the field, but had just enough thanks to senior Kenny Kadji to secure the win.
The Canes had been annihilating teams in the ACC, winning by an average of 10.8 points per game. But Clemson sought to cut off lanes for star guard Shane Larkin and the strategy almost worked. It was aided by one of Miami’s worst shooting performances of the season.
The offense won’t come any easier when Virginia rolls into Coral Gables Tuesday.
Virginia has the top rated scoring defense in the ACC, giving up just 54.0 points per game. That’s four points better than the number two team, Clemson. Incidentally, Miami’s defense is ranked third giving up just 58.7 points per game.
The Cavaliers also play stingy defense beyond the arc. Virginia has held opponents to just 29.8 percent shooting from behind the three-point line this season.
But while Virginia’s defense is stellar, it’s struggled offensively, managing just 65 points per game which puts them 10th in the 12-team league. Still, Virginia is the best 3-point shooting team in the ACC, hitting on 41.1 percent of their shots from long-range.
The Canes will be looking for their first conference win against Virginia during the tenure of Coach Jim Larranaga. Miami has beaten every other team in the conference since the coach took over two years ago.
Overall, Miami is on a 13-game winning streak, an eight-game home winning streak in conference play, and has yet to lose this season at the BankUnited Center. Virginia will have to deal with a sellout crowd and try to stop Miami from achieving another blowout at home.
Miami’s past four home wins have been by at least 22 points. The Canes beat Duke by 27, FSU by 24, Boston College by 22, and North Carolina by 26.
Miami and Virginia are set to tip-off at 9 p.m.