Miami basketball survives late versus Pittsburgh earning ACC Co-Championship

CORAL GABLES, FLORIDA - MARCH 04: (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
CORAL GABLES, FLORIDA - MARCH 04: (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /

The Miami basketball team overcame a sluggish finish and prevailed 78-76 over Pittsburgh on Saturday night at the Watsco Center to earn a share of the ACC regular season title with Virginia. With a 66-64 win over Virginia in December Miami earns the number one seed in the ACC Tournament next weekend in Greensboro.

The Miami basketball team led by as many as nine in the second half and had a seven-point advantage with 35 seconds left after a Jordan Miller dunk extended the Miami lead to 78-71. A Blake Hinson layup eight seconds later cut the deficit back to five for Pittsburgh. Nijel Pack stepped out of bounds with 22 seconds left.

Hinson made a three-point shot with 13 seconds left to cut the Miami lead to 78-76. It was clear on the replay and mentioned by play-by-play announcer Jay Alter and analyst Malcolm Huckaby who played at Boston College that Hinson’s foot was on the line and it should have been a two-point shot.

The referees appeared that they were going to look at the replay but did not and the three remained. It was almost the difference between winning and losing. Norchad Omier missed the front end of a one-and-one with nine seconds left and about a 35-foot shot at the buzzer by Hinson bounced off the front rim.

Miami fans were able to breathe a sigh of relief and the Hurricanes capture a share of their first ACC regular season Championship since 2013. Miami will attempt to duplicate the 2013 Hurricanes team doubling their regular season ACC Championship with a tournament championship next week in Greensboro.

Woogla Poplar had the best game of his Miami career with 18 points, making six of his eight three-point attempts and adding five rebounds. Miller had 17 points, eight rebounds and three assists and Omier had his 13th double-double this season with 15 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks.

Hinson led four Pittsburgh players in double figures with 24 points making six of his 12 three-point attempts. Miami made 20 of its 23 free throw attempts while Pittsburgh was 11 of 15 at the line. The Hurricanes outrebounded the Panthers 42-20 and had a 25 to seven advantage in second-chance points.

Next. Miami splits ESPN projected ACC tournament winner with Duke. dark

Sixteen Miami turnovers to seven for Pittsburgh led to a 23 to six Panthers advantage in points off turnovers. Miami has to improve by putting games away late. Pittsburgh used an 11-0 run in the last 2:30 at Pittsburgh to defeat Miami. Miami will open the ACC Tournament versus Syracuse or Wake Forest at noon Thursday.