Miami Hurricanes road success will be important for NCAA Tournament

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 15: Anthony Lawrence II
MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 15: Anthony Lawrence II /

The Miami Hurricanes win at North Carolina State on Sunday was arguably their biggest of the season. It improved Miami to 5-2 in true road games and 8-3 away from the Watsco Center.

Road wins are one of the biggest components when teams are seeded for the NCAA Tournament. Although the Hurricanes are still looking for a win against a top 25 team in the RPI, the victory at the number 67 Wolfpack should look good when the committee meets in March.

Miami’s highest ranked wins this season came against number 33 Middle Tennessee State in the Diamond Head Classic last month in Hawaii and at home earlier this month against number 38 Florida State.

Wednesday’s home game against Louisville is another big opportunity for the Hurricanes to pad their resume. After struggling through some of their non-conference schedule the Cardinals have gotten hot in conference play. Louisville has started 5-1 in the ACC and has won their last four games.

Some of the other key things the committee looks at is a team’s record against the RPI top 25 and top 50. Miami is 0-2 against the top 25. They lost at number six Clemson and at home against RPI number one Duke in the two games that preceded the win over NC State. Miami also has a loss to number 48 New Mexico State in Hawaii.

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  • Miami’s first road win of the season came at Minnesota in November. The Golden Gophers were ranked 15 in the country in the polls at the time the Hurricanes played them. Minnesota has since fallen off and are currently ranked 73rd in the RPI. Earlier this month Minnesota suspended starting center Reggie Lynch indefinitely.

    Miami was able to overcome Lynch inside in their victory in Minneapolis. The Gophers 6’10 center had 10 points, 10 rebounds and seven blocks in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge game in November. The committee likely will and should take that into account. It was a key road win early in the season for the young Hurricanes.

    Poor losses are also scrutinized by the committee. Miami’s loss at Georgia Tech came to the nation’s 133rd ranked team in the RPI. The Hurricanes will have five opportunities to get wins against teams ranked in the top 50 this season.

    In addition to the game against Louisville Wednesday, Miami travels to Florida State Saturday, hosts number four Virginia February 13, number 41 Syracuse February 17 and plays at number three North Carolina March 3.

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    If the Hurricanes can win two to three of those games and not suffer another loss against a sub 100 team in the RPI their resume for the NCAA Tournament should get them a seed no worse than sixth. After beginning the season ranked 12th the Hurricanes are probably aiming higher than that.