It can be difficult getting into rhythm when you know in advance the other team dominates defensively at home. The Canes found that out in an ugly, low-scoring game that had both Miami and Virginia shooting themselves in the foot throughout.
With 23.8 seconds left in the game, Bruce “Almighty” Brown came to the rescue with a flair from beyond the arc, putting the Canes ahead for good, as the team defeated the Virginia Cavaliers 54-48 in overtime.
Senior guard Davon Reed and the Canes thought they survived their shooting woes when he banked in a 3-pointer at the buzzer, but it was just a tad late, and the game went into overtime.
So how were the Canes truly able to pull off this road win despite committing 15 turnovers and shooting a dismal 36.6 percent from the field?
1. Virginia could not execute any sort of momentum throughout the game. The Cavaliers shot 31.4 percent from the floor, as senior guard London Perrantes was off tonight, shooting just 2-15 from the field. Maybe the thought of former Cavalier Malcolm Brogdon’s jersey being retired got to him. In addition, Virginia was careless with the ball, committing two costly turnovers.
2. Miami hit its shots when they counted the most. A 3-pointer from freshman guard Dejan Vasiljevic tied the game late in regulation, and Brown’s shots were crucial for the finale of the game.
3. The classic charity-stripe game that appeared to skew the way the Canes were shooting was the hidden stat. The team was 20-22 for 90.9 percent from the free throw line – a remarkable feat for an away ACC game. Virginia was 13-20 for 65 percent from the line. This shows why free throws are so vital.
The win secured the Canes a second consecutive trip to March Madness. With Duke coming to town Saturday afternoon and the return of junior guard Ja’Quan Newton, many can expect an epic final home game at the Watsco Center.
I will see you there.