A marathon of a regular season to remember is over and a new opportunity for success awaits.
Miami men’s basketball will open its Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament slate against the Boston College Eagles Thursday at 2:30 p.m. The Hurricanes defeated the Eagles 81-70 in the teams’ only matchup of the season on March 2 in Chestnut Hill.
Fourth-seeded Miami is set to play 13th-seeded Boston College, which took down Pittsburgh and Wake Forest through the tournament’s first two rounds. Miami redshirt senior guard Kameron McGusty was named to the All-ACC First Team this week, capping off a career season. The Katy, Texas, native, ranks fourth in the ACC in scoring (17.5) and third in steals (1.8) as the Hurricanes (22-9, 14-6 ACC) enter Brooklyn, New York, with a double-bye in the tournament.
“The regular season is a marathon because it has 20 games. Each of them has equal value in terms of trying to win your league. So, whether you finish, like Duke did, 16-4 and in first place, it doesn’t matter who you beat [because] … as long as you’ve got the best record in the league, you’ve won the marathon,” Miami head coach Jim Larrañaga said. “That’s different when you get to the postseason because the postseason is a sprint. You’re in a heat. You win the heat, you move on to the next heat until you can win the championship.”
On Wednesday, UM announced Larrañaga, the program’s winningest coach now in his 11th season, had agreed to a two-year extension, keeping him on the Hurricane sidelines through the 2025-26 season.
The Hurricanes enjoyed a successful 2021-22 regular season under Larrañaga, but understand that they are playing for much more than just a successful regular season. UM and Boston College are tied at 27 in the all-time matchup and are 1-1 in the conference tournament.
“It’s survive and advance, win and move on, lose and go home,” Larrañaga said. “And that’s what it is when you’re in a sprint; you either win your heat or you’re out.”
The Hurricanes face a team that they have beat already this season, but cannot undermine the Eagles, who took down fifth-seeded Wake Forest on Tuesday night. With a win, the Hurricanes can advance to the semifinals, and will await the evening games to finish out to see who would be next on the schedule.