Miami Hurricanes Basketball: Bubble Watch (Feb. 18): Not Dead Yet


Believe it or not, we’re less than five weeks away from Selection Sunday and with Miami sitting directly on the bubble, I’ll drop these Bubble Watch posts each week to give you as best of an idea as we have on where the ‘Canes stand. I’ll also look at the rest of the ACC and the upcoming week for Miami. 

Team Snapshot

  • Record: 16-9 (6-6 ACC)
  • RPI: 62
  • SOS: 57
  • Home record: 8-5
  • Road record: 5-3
  • Neutral record: 3-1
  • vs. RPI Top 50: 2-4
  • vs. RPI Top 100: 7-6
  • Signature wins: @ Duke
  • Bad losses: Eastern Kentucky, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest

The loss to Wake Forest really hurt Miami and at the time it felt like a death blow to UM’s tournament hopes. While a double overtime win against Boston College certainly didn’t inspire much more confidence in a team that’s struggling right now, it did keep Miami’s bubble hopes alive. Miami does need to bring its RPI back into the low-to-mid 50s, but it will have a chance to do that against Louisville, North Carolina and potentially in the ACC Tournament.

Bracketology Standing

As you can see, Miami is pretty much the last team in or first team out right now, depending on who you ask. This will likely take care of itself down the stretch and I think it’s fair to say that Miami controls its destiny at this point.

The Upcoming Week

  • Today, 7, ESPN3: Virginia Tech (10-15, 2-10 ACC, RPI 220)
  • Saturday, 2, ESPN: at Louisville (20-5, 8-4 ACC, RPI 16)

Miami faces another absolute must win against a VT outfit that is by far the worst in the ACC this year. While the Hokies have one more conference win than Boston College, they’re the only ACC team with the ghastly distinction of sitting outside of the RPI Top 200. A loss tonight at the BUC would effectively end Miami’s tournament hopes. The Louisville game on Saturday is not a must-win, but I don’t need to tell you how far a win would go on Selection Sunday. Miami desperately needs another signature win to boost its RPI and this is one of its final chances to get one.

Around the ACC


  • Virginia (24-1, 12-1 ACC, RPI 3)
  • Duke (22-3, 9-3 ACC, RPI 5)
  • Notre Dame (23-4, 11-3 ACC, RPI 27)

To clarify, a lock means that a team could lose the rest of its games and still make the tournament. With Notre Dame picking up its 11th conference win last week, I bumped the Irish into the locks despite an RPI that lags behind the Domers’ record.

Sitting Pretty:

  • North Carolina (18-7, 8-4 ACC, RPI 11)
  • Louisville (20-5, 8-4, RPI 16)

Both of these teams suffered hiccups this week that may hurt their seeding, but barring disaster they are both safely into a tournament with a quality seed to boot.

Bubble In:

  • NC State (15-11, 6-7 ACC, RPI 49)

The Wolfpack picked up a massive road win at Louisville last week and while NC State’s record isn’t shiny, a Top 50 RPI has them currently in the field. Miami fans should root against this team the rest of the way.

Bubble Burst:

  • Miami (16-9, 6-6 ACC, RPI 62)
  • Pittsburgh (17-10, 6-7 ACC, RPI 47)

Pittsburgh has a nice RPI, but lacks quality wins despite a home win over North Carolina this week. The Panthers are just 1-7 in true road games and that will hurt them on Selection Sunday. Still, they’re in a very similar bubble position to Miami, so UM fans should hope they stumble down the stretch.

Gasping For Air:

  • Clemson (15-11, 7-7 ACC, RPI 90)

Clemson is pretty much getting ready for the NIT at this point after a loss to Georgia Tech. While it’s theoretically possible that they could get back into the conversation with games against Duke and Notre Dame remaining, it’s hard to see the Tigers actually winning either of those games, let alone both like they would need to do.

Maybe Next Year:

  • Florida State
  • Wake Forest
  • Virginia Tech
  • Georgia Tech
  • Boston College