Miami Hurricanes Basketball: Hurricanes Possibly See Their Tournament Hopes Roll off; Lose to Wake Forest, 72-70


The Miami Hurricanes faced a must-win game on Wednesday, and they could’ve seen their tournament hopes literally roll off the rim against Wake Forest. Angel Rodriguez beat Devin Thomas off the dribble and had a point blank layup to tie the game at 72 and send this game to overtime, but the shot rolled off the rim, and gave the Deacons a 72-70 win in front of their home crowd.

It was THAT close.

Wake Forest shot the lights out in the first half against Miami.

The Demon Deacons made six of their first seven shots to start off the game, and shot 54 percent from the floor despite going five minutes without making a field goal midway through the half. Wake Forest came into the game averaging six three-pointers a game — they connected on 11 triples in the first half on Wednesday.

Kontastinos Mitoglou was the player with the hottest hand in the first half. The Greek forward went crazy on Miami, and hit all five of his three-point attempts, on his way to a 16-point first-half performance. Mitoglou was a huge reason the Deacons jumped out to a 17-5 lead against the Canes, and his hot shooting was contagious to the rest of his team. Five different players hit a three in the first half for Wake Forest.

The Hurricanes didn’t shoot the ball poorly, either. Miami started off the game a step slow on both ends, but led by Davon Reed’s 11 first-half points, the Canes shot 48% from the floor in the first half, but they trailed 42-33 heading into the break.

The second half went more of Miami’s way; at least for the most part.

Wake Forest shot lights out from behind-the-arc in the first half, but they were only able to convert on one three-pointer in the second half, and itt was a big one. After the Hurricanes took their first lead of the game late in the second half on a James Palmer finger roll, Mitoglou continued to kill Miami as he nailed Wake Forest’s lone second half three-pointer to cut the Miami lead down to 68-67.

Minutes before that Mitoglou three-pointer, Miami’s big man Tonye Jekiri fouled out of the game with 3:49 left in the game after an offensive foul was called on a rebound attempt. After Jekiri fouled out, Wake Forest outscored Miami 9-4 to close out the game.

Codi Miller-McIntyre, Wake Forest’s leading scorer, was held in check for most of the game, but he converted on an and-one with 2:12 left to go in the game to put Wake Forest up for good.

Wake Forest shot 39% from the floor in the second half and 46% for the entire game. The Canes also shot the ball well at 45%, but they fell just short of a critical win.

Miami came in seeded 12th in Joe Lunardi’s bracketology, but that’s going to change after what is considered a bad loss against a team that came into Wednesday’s game with just three ACC wins. Angel Rodriguez stepped up in the second half with 15 huge points, but he wishes he could have that last layup back. The Hurricanes will have to upset either North Carolina or Louisville to compensate for some of their early losses, and will also have to do some damage in the ACC tournament.

Miami’s bubble might’ve bursted on Wednesday, but they’ll try to right the ship starting Sunday when they travel to Boston College, which they beat 60-56 earlier this season.