The Miami basketball team will begin its most difficult week this season with a game at Virginia on Monday night. Miami will have four days off before hosting North Carolina on Saturday. This week is critical for Miami to boost its NCAA Tournament resume.
Miami is not listed among the 14 teams outside of the NCAA Tournament bubble by the Bracket Matrix website. Virginia is currently seventh among the teams listed as other at-larges. Virginia enters the game on Monday 17-5 overall and 8-3 in second place in the ACC, two games behind North Carolina.
The Cavaliers are 42nd in the NCAA NetRatings. Miami enters the game at Virginia on Monday night 62nd in the NCAA NetRatings. The loss to Louisville was a big dent for Miami. Louisville is currently 193nd in the Net Ratings. Miami has a long way to go to improve its Net Rating and get close to the NCAA Tournament bubble.
The game at Virginia is a critical opportunity for Miami to earn a quadrant one road win. Miami is 1-3 versus quad one teams this season and 2-4 on the road. Winning games versus quad-one opponents, particularly on the road, is critical for an NCAA Tournament resume. North Carolina will also provide a quad-one opportunity.
North Carolina is as close to a must win that Miami will have for the remainder of this season. The Tar Heels are ninth in the Net Ratings. Miami has to defeat North Carolina at home to build their resume and impress the NCAA Tournament committee. Miami is healthy for the first time in about a month.
Forward Matthew Cleveland returned on Saturday, scored 15 points and had 13 rebounds as Miami rallied in the last four minutes to defeat Virginia Tech. Miami will conclude a five-game stretch of games on ESPN or ESPN 2 at Clemson on February 14. The Hurricanes need to make a statement nationally.