A missed three-pointer by junior guard Angel Rodriguez could be the difference between dancing in March and falling into the National Invitation Tournament for the Hurricanes. They now sit squarely on the NCAA tournament bubble after an impressive eight-game winning streak to start the season and being ranked as high as No. 15 in the country in December.
Rodriguez’s heave with time running out against No. 12 Louisville on Saturday, with the Canes down two, had a chance to propel the team into the tournament, but instead it fell short.
Blowout losses early in the season to Green Bay and Eastern Kentucky, combined with the recent heartbreakers against Florida State, Wake Forest and Louisville in the last three weeks have Miami on the outside looking in, according to ESPN’s Joe Lunardi.
What seemed like impressive wins at Florida and at Syracuse earlier in the season now look less remarkable by the day as those two schools are suffering their worst seasons in years. The Canes still have that resounding 90-74 victory at Cameroon Indoor Stadium against No. 4 Duke to point to as proof of their quality, but that alone won’t be enough to carry the team into the tournament.
Miami’s Rating Percentage Index (RPI) currently stands in the mid-60s, right around the threshold for teams that miss the NCAA tournament. The Hurricanes, 17-10 overall and 7-7 in the ACC, only have four games remaining before the ACC tournament starts on March 10. Closing out the regular season 4-0 is a necessity now for the Canes.
Featured image courtesy Hurricane Sports