Miami Hurricanes Basketball ACC Tournament Game Preview: Notre Dame Fighting Irish


Location: Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, North Carolina

Time: 9:00 PM


Line: Notre Dame -10

The Miami Hurricanes (21-11, 11-8) came into the tournament needing at least two wins in the ACC tournament and after their 59-49 win over Virginia Tech on Wednesday, they’re now in position to do that. Standing in the Miami’s way of a second trip to the ACC semifinals in three years (crazy, right?) are the #11 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (26-5,14-4).

Recap of First Game

In the first meeting on January 17th, Miami headed into South Bend fresh off their most impressive win of the season against the Duke Blue Devils. Miami came out hot from the field and even jumped out to an 11-point lead midway through the second half. Notre Dame then started knocking down most of their outside shots and quickly erased the Hurricanes lead. The Irish were able to get their home crowd involved, and the combination of nine three-pointers combined with Jerian Grant’s 23 points were too much for Miami as they fell to the Irish on the road, 75-70.

Notre Dame Scouting Report

Notre Dame likes to play sort of the same style of basketball as Virginia Tech, except that the Irish are way, way more talented than the Hokies. There is no secret when it comes to Notre Dame. They have their main scorer in Jerian Grant, and they like to shoot – and make – three-pointers.

The Irish are 14th in the country in points per game, scoring at a 78.9 PPG clip. The scary part of their scoring is that they do it efficiently. Notre Dame is second in the country in field goal percentage, connecting on 51% of their shots. That’s impressive. Grant leads that potent attack with 16.8 points per game and 6.7 assists per game, all while shooting just under 50 percent.

Miami is going to have to make a decision on whether they want to match up with Notre Dame’s three-point shooting lineup or if they want to keep Tonye Jekiri out on the floor and make Notre Dame adjust to Miami’s playing style. In the last meeting, Jekiri had a good game with 8 points and 13 rebounds, but he was often left on a guard out in the three-point line and Notre Dame usually made Miami pay.

Look for Ivan Cruz Uceda to be matched up a lot against Zach Auguste in what could be the match-up of the night. Unless Jekiri starts to dominate; that would be nice.


Miami 70 – Notre Dame 66

That’s right, I’m picking the Canes to pull off the upset in this one. Miami is coming off a game where they showed nothing positive, and I have no doubt that a Jim Larranaga coached team will bounce back in a big way.

Angel Rodriguez is back in the rotation for the Canes and I think that’s going to be huge for Miami in order to prevent fatigue. Rodriguez had a horrible game against Notre Dame last time around and he’ll need to make a contribution for this prediction to come true.

I think Miami has more success with Jekiri out on the court this time around and it’ll force Notre Dame to play a big and kind of throw off their stretch-5 lineups.

Could I be wrong and the Canes get beat up? Absolutely. But if Miami wants to go dancing in a couple weeks, this is a game they definitely must win. And I think they’ll play with that sense of urgency Thursday night.