Miami basketball loses Norchad Omier and ACC semi to Duke

Mar 10, 2023; Greensboro, NC, USA; Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 10, 2023; Greensboro, NC, USA; Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /

Norchad Omier rolled his ankle a minute into the game and the Miami basketball team lost 85-78 in the ACC Tournament semifinals on Friday night in Greensboro. Duke took advantage of Omier being out with a 36-24 rebounding advantage. Miami falls to 4-1 all-time in the ACC Tournament as a number-one seed.

In his postgame press conference Miami head coach Jim Larranaga said that Omier did not suffer a broken ankle and is day to day. Miami will find out its NCAA Tournament fate on Sunday. The Hurricanes will play either Thursday/Saturday or Friday/Sunday next week. An extra day might help Omier get healthy.

The game was tight throughout. Duke’s largest lead was eight and Miami never led by more than two points. Isaiah Wong scored 22 points in 27 minutes. Wong’s playing time was limited by foul trouble late in the first half and when he picked up his third and fourth fouls with 5:15 and 5:12 remaining in the game.

Miami was trailing 67-65 when Wong was called for his fourth foul. Duke had stretched its lead to 75-69 when Wong returned with 3:05 remaining. Miami missed its last five shots from the field. An Anthony Walker layup with 54 seconds remaining was the last field goal the Miami basketball team made in the game.

That was part of a three-point play that cut the Duke lead to 80-75. Duke was sensational from the free throw line making 21 of 25. Miami finished 12 of 15 from the line. Walker contributed six points and four rebounds in 24 minutes. Freshman A.J. Casey had two points in 15 minutes as he and Walked played in place of Omier.

Jordan Miller had 17 points, seven rebounds and three assists and Bensley Joseph came off the bench to score 10 points. Nijel Pack had a rough night going 4-10 from the floor and 1-6 on three-point attempts for nine points. It’s the third straight game Pack has scored nine. Miami needs more from Pack in the NCAA Tournament.

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Miami will find out its NCAA Tournament fate on Sunday at 6 PM ET on CBS. The committee will have to make a decision on if and how they will adjust the seeding for Miami based on the Omier injury. The Miami athletic training staff might not know how severe the Omier injury is before the NCAA Tournament pairings are released.