Miami basketball stays East in newest bracketology

Jan 8, 2022; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY
Jan 8, 2022; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY /

The Miami basketball program will play in the NCAA East Regional in the newest bracketology from Jerry Palm of CBS Sports and Joe Lunardi of ESPN. Miami is the ninth seed in the East Regional in the NCAA Tournament projections from both gurus. The Hurricanes would open NCAA Tournament play in Fort Worth, Texas.

The subregional pod that the Miami basketball team is projected to play in includes East Regional top-seed Kansas. Lunardi projects Miami to play Boise State in the first round. Palm has Miami projected to play Marquette in the first round. Lunardi projects Kansas to open NCAA Tournament play against 16 seed Cleveland State.

Palm has Kansas projected to play the winner of the First Four-game between Colgate and Longwood. Miami has not played any of the teams projected by Lunardi and Palm to be in their subregional. Kansas and Miami both lost to eventual tournament winner Dayton in the ESPN Events Invitational in November.

The Flyers defeated the Hurricanes 76-60 in the opening round. A day after defeating Miami, Dayton upset Kansas 74-73 to reach the championship game. Miami has not played in the NCAA Tournament since 2018 when they lost to Loyola in the first round. The Hurricanes have not won an NCAA Tournament game since 2016.

Miami enters the weekend 62nd in the NCAA Net Ratings. The Hurricanes lost 71-58 at Virginia two weeks ago. Virginia is 81st in the Net Ratings which makes the game at home quadrant three for Miami. Miami enters the game on Saturday 4-1 in quad one games, 5-4 in quad two, 5-2 in quad three and 5-0 versus quad four.

Virginia Tech who Miami hosts next Saturday is the highest-ranking team on the remaining schedule at 37 in the Net Ratings. Miami needs to continue winning to build its resume for the NCAA Tournament. The Hurricanes are in third place in the ACC and in an excellent position for a double-bye in the ACC Tournament.

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The teams who finish in the top four in the ACC during the regular season receive double byes to the quarterfinals of the tournament. A win in the quarterfinals would be a further boost for the portfolio the Miami basketball team is building for the NCAA Tournament. Miami has to remain focused on one game at a time.