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Pitt vs Miami Hurricanes Preview

For the regular season title...

NCAA Basketball: Miami (FL) at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Game Time: 6:00 PM

Opponent: Miami

Head Coach: Jim Larranga (12th season)

Conference: ACC

Current Record: 23-6 (14-5) 16th in AP Poll

Last Game: L 84-85 vs Florida State

Top Player: G Jordan Miller (15.1 ppg, 6.0 rpg)

Last Meeting: Pitt 71 Miami 68 on 1/28/2023

What we said in the recap: “Despite trailing by double digits near the midway point through the second half, the Pittsburgh Panthers once more conjured up a streak of magic, beating the #20 Miami Hurricanes by a score of 71-68. We’re running out of original ways to say “The Panthers came back and won” here at Cardiac Hill, but each time it truly is more beautiful to witness than the last.”

Well, we know what’s at stake here. If Pitt wins, they will be the number one seed in the ACC Tournament (by virtue of head to head win with UVA if Hoos also finish at 15-5). If they lose, they could fall anywhere from 2nd to 5th. Beyond that, one more win would move the Panthers to tourney lock status according to the majority of people whose job it is to speculate about these things.

Keys to the game:

  1. Contain the fast start - With a championship on the line in front of their home crowd, everyone should expect the Hurricanes to be shot out of a cannon from the opening tip. Pitt cannot afford to get into a huge hole early. Miami will be extra aware of maintaining any lead especially after the earlier meeting in January, and their most recent loss to Florida State (Seminoles were down 25 in second half - largest comeback in ACC history)
  2. Stop Miller - Isaiah Wong was (is?) a candidate for ACC POY, but Jordan Miller is probably their best player. The senior guard is big and efficient and his lack of 2nd half touches is one of the main reasons Miami failed to hang on in the last meeting. Coach Jim Larranga won’t let that happen again.
  3. Mad Hinson - Blake Hinson was livid at the end of the Notre Dame game due to some jawing coming from the Irish in the handshake line. As joyful as Hinson is during interviews and post-game pressers, he is still an immensely competitive dude, as are all the Panthers. I’m looking forward to Hinson having a big night in response.

Prediction: ACC Regular Season Champion Pitt Panthers.