Miami Hurricanes Basketball: Why Miami Deserves a No. 3 Seed on Selection Sunday

Mar 11, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Miami Hurricanes forward Kamari Murphy (21) calls out a play in the first half against the Virginia Cavaliers during semi-finals of the ACC conference tournament at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 11, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Miami Hurricanes forward Kamari Murphy (21) calls out a play in the first half against the Virginia Cavaliers during semi-finals of the ACC conference tournament at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /

Well folks, Selection Sunday is finally here.

After months of battling to secure their chance at glory in the NCAA Tournament, many teams will be sweating it out as the committee announces the field of 68 later today. Luckily for the Miami Hurricanes, they won’t be one of those teams sitting anxiously on that bubble that can lift you up to cloud nine or pop and ruin the dreams you’ve worked so hard to achieve. No, Jim Larranaga and the Canes are much more comfortable than that.

As it stands, the Hurricanes have fallen a bit this week after a bad loss to Virginia Tech and a missed opportunity agains Virginia, but at 25-7, they are in strong consideration for a No. 3 seed. While many currently have the Canes slotted in that position, the committee doesn’t always agree with the Bracketologists. Hurricanes fans just have to go back to 2013 when they were given a two seed as opposed to a one seed after winning not only the ACC Regular Season title, but the ACC Tournament title as well.

Well, I’m here to show you why it would be an absolute travesty if Miami is given anything less than a 3 seed.

First off, let’s look at the teams will likely be placed ahead of the Canes in the field:

Kansas, North Carolina, Michigan State, Oregon, Virginia, Villanova, Oklahoma, West Virginia

Now those eight teams could fill up the S-curve in that exact order come 5:30 p.m. ET on Sunday afternoon and all of them I would have no problem with being ahead of the Canes, but beyond this list I’d have my doubts.

When you get to the three seeds, I feel there are six teams in position of being slotted on that line (Miami, Xavier, Utah, Kentucky, Texas A&M and Purdue). Now, that list will be shortened to five and possibly four later today as Kentucky will face Texas A&M in the SEC Tournament Final and Purdue takes on Michigan State in the Big Ten Tournament Final.

With all of that being said, I took a look at Miami’s resume and compared it to the profiles of the five teams they’ll be competing against for a No. 3 seed:

Miami Hurricanes (25-7, 13-5 ACC)

Rankings: RPI- 9, SOS- 14, KenPom- 13

RPI Top 100 Record: 16-4 (7-3 vs. RPI Top 50)

Quality Wins: vs. Virginia, vs. Utah (neutral), vs. Louisville

Bad Losses: vs. Northeastern, at NC State, at Virginia Tech

Outlook: When you look at the resume of the Canes, there isn’t really a question in my mind that they deserve a No. 3 seed. On this list they have the best quality wins, the highest winning percentage against the RPI Top 100 and are ranked in the top 15 in the RPI, SOS and KenPom. The bad losses are probably towards the bottom on this list, but Miami’s numbers are just too low to put them anywhere below a three seed.

Current Bracket Projection: 3 seed

Purdue Boilermakers (26-7, 12-6 Big Ten)

Rankings: RPI- 14, SOS- 44, KenPom- 10

RPI Top 100 Record: 10-6 (4-4 vs. RPI Top 50)

Quality Wins: vs. Maryland, vs. Michigan State

Bad Losses: at Illinois

Outlook: Come Sunday afternoon, Miami fans will become Michigan State fans. With a win over a potential No. 1 seed in Michigan State, it would be hard to keep Purdue off the three line and that could pose a potential issue for the Hurricanes if the committee evaluates them lower than we expect.

Purdue doesn’t have many bad losses, but only has two RPI Top 40 wins. A win over Michigan State would obviously change that and make things a bit more interesting for the Canes when the field of 68 is announced.

Current Bracket Projection: 3/4 seed

Texas A&M Aggies (26-7, 13-5 SEC)

Rankings: RPI- 17, SOS- 55, KenPom- 16,

RPI Top 100 Record: 14-6 (5-0 vs. RPI Top 50)

Quality Wins: vs. Kentucky, vs. Iowa State, vs. Baylor

Bad Losses: at Arkansas, at Arizona State, at Alabama

Outlook: Texas A&M has a lot of similarities to Miami. The Aggies like the Canes have plenty of quality wins and a few bad losses, but Miami’s wins and numbers are better. I could see A&M getting onto the three line if they beat Kentucky, but there is no way that they should be ahead of the Canes, especially with how weak the SEC was this year.

Current Bracket Projection: 4/5 seed

Kentucky Wildcats (25-8, 13-5 SEC)

Rankings: RPI- 12, SOS- 30, KenPom- 8

RPI Top 100 Record: 14-5 (2-2 vs. RPI Top 50)

Quality Wins: vs. Louisville

Bad Losses: at Auburn, at Tennessee, at UCLA

Outlook: As I said at the beginning, the SEC Tournament Final is essentially a three seed elimination game. When looking at Kentucky, they only have two wins against the RPI Top 50, but have three pretty bad losses on the resume.

Just like A&M, if they win the SEC Tournament they could get a three seed, but there is no way they should be in over Miami. They have less quality wins than the Canes and possibly even worse losses on the resume.

Current Bracket Projection: 3/4 seed

Utah Utes (26-8, 13-5 Pac 12)

Rankings: RPI- 8, SOS- 10, KenPom- 29

RPI Top 100 Record: 18-8 (9-7 vs. RPI Top 50)

Quality Wins: vs. Cal (2x)

Bad Losses: at Stanford

Outlook: We have no gotten to the point of the two teams along with Miami that I believe have locked up at least a three seed. Utah doesn’t necessarily have wins against the top teams in the country, but their 18 wins against the RPI Top 100 really stands out.

Obviously Miami beat them back in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off Tournament and considering how good that win has become, that head-to-head win could prove decisive if it came down to these two teams.

Current Bracket Projection: 3 seed

Xavier Musketeers (27-5, 14-4 Big East)

Rankings: RPI- 7, SOS- 28, KenPom- 15

RPI Top 100 Record: 12-4 (6-3 vs. RPI Top 50)

Quality Wins: vs. Villanova, vs. Seton Hall

Bad Losses: vs. Georgetown, at Creighton

Outlook:There isn’t much of an argument against Xavier as a three seed or possibly even a two seed. Their numbers and profile are pretty strong and in a year in which the Big East will have five teams in the NCAA Tournament, you can’t use the excuse that they played in a weak conference either.

Current Bracket Projection: 3 seed

The three teams in my opinion that deserve at least a three seed at the moment are Miami, Xavier and Utah. The Kentucky and Texas A&M winner will put themselves in a good position for that final three, but if Purdue beats Michigan State, there could be a very interesting battle.

No matter how you look at it when evaluating the Canes though, they have to be a lock for a three seed. They haven’t gotten much respect for the season that they have, but if the committee just looks at their numbers, the quality wins under their belt and the fact they played in perhaps the best conference in the country, there is no reason why Miami shouldn’t be at least a three seed on Selection Sunday.