ACC Tournament 2011: Can the Miami Hurricanes Storm Past the Virginia Cavaliers?
The ACC Tournament tips off with the Virginia Cavaliers (16-14, 7-9 ACC) taking on the Miami Hurricanes (18-16, 6-10 ACC). This is a battle of the eight and nine seed, and both teams have to win the conference tournament to have any chance to reach the NCAA Tournament.
Both, however, are far more likely to wind up NIT bound come Sunday.
If you listen to Andy Katz of ESPN, however, he will tell you that both of these teams can be dangerous.
Katz says "Both of these teams gave UNC problems before succumbing in the final possessions. Whoever wins this game won't be an easy out for North Carolina, even as well as the Heels are playing."
Virginia holds conference wins over Clemson and Virginia Tech, but they also have a lot of bad losses. When leading scorer and rebounder Mike Scott went down for the season before conference play began, he took and tournament chances down with him. Mustapha Farrakhan did everything he could to will this team to victory, but he did not have enough support around him.
Miami beat the teams that they were supposed to this season, but do not hold many quality victories, especially with the ACC suffering through a bit of a down season. Still, they have a couple of viable scoring options in Malcolm Grant and Durand Scott. They also have size inside with Reggie Johnson.
Virginia won four of their final regular season games to finish the season with a winning record. Miami alternated wins and losses in their final eight games, losing most of their games against teams with a better record than them.
Logic would tell you that the Cavaliers should advance to the next round. But this is the ACC Tournament. The Hurricanes survive on solid three point shooting and move on to live another day.
For more on this matchup, make sure to check out Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Ben Gibson, as he takes a look at the ACC Basketball Tournament 2011: Revenge on Virginia's Mind Against Miami.
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