The University of Miami men’s basketball team is heading to Winston-Salem, North Carolina this Wednesday at 7 p.m. for a key ACC road game for their tournament resume. They are taking on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
The Hurricanes (15-8, 5-5 ACC) garnered a much-needed win for their tournament hopes last Sunday evening with a victory over Clemson, now finding themselves one of the “last four in,” part of ESPN Joe Lundardi’s Bracketology.
“We need to win this game. And after that, we need to win the next game,” said head coach Jim Larrañaga on Monday.
The Hurricanes are running out of time to build a tournament-worthy resume, yet they have some interesting components.
Miami has an enormous win against Duke on the road, but has also lost to ACC bottom-dweller Georgia Tech and a menagerie of subpar opponents.
Miami’s strength of schedule (48) and RPI (54) are middling. A loss to the Demon Deacons could burst Miami’s bubble.
Meanwhile, Wake Forest (11-13, 3-8 ACC) presents an interesting but winnable test for the Hurricanes. Wake Forest guard Madison Jones leads the ACC in assist-to-turnover ratio, and junior guard Codi Miller-McIntyre is 11th in the league in points per game. The Demon Deacons are just 2-5 in their last seven games.
Junior guard and leading scorer Sheldon McClellan is hitting more than 51 percent of his field goal attempts, a mark that is the top shooting percentage for a guard in Power Five conferences. On Sunday, McClellan scored 19 points on 6-8 shooting against Clemson.