After another embarrassing loss at Virginia on Monday night, the Miami basketball team has close to a must-win on Saturday versus North Carolina. Miami enters the game on Saturday 70th in the NCAA NetRatings. The Hurricanes have a lot of work to do to earn its third consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.
The 60-38 loss at Virginia set several futile milestones for the Miami basketball program. It was the fewest points Miami has ever scored in an ACC game. The two previous futile offensive outputs also occurred versus Virginia. Thirty eight points was the lowest by a Miami basketball team since 1948.
Miami is in the middle of a three-game stretch versus quadrant one opponents. After North Carolina on Saturday, Miami travels to Clemson on Wednesday. Miami defeated Clemson at the Watsco Center last month. With Duke and North Carolina again later this month, Miami has opportunities to earn their way back into the NCAA Tournament race.
North Carolina enters Saturday's game ranked 11th in the Net Ratings. The Tar Heels have a 63.6 percent chance to beat the Hurricanes, per the ESPN Basketball Power Index. Clemson is projected with a 77.4 percent chance to beat Miami in the BPI. Miami needs to start pulling upset to turn its season around.
Miami has left themselves little margin for error. The loss to Virginia was the third by more than 20 points this season. Added to that is a loss to ACC last place Louisville. Coming off the most successful season in program history, this year has been a significant letdown thus far.
Other than the games mentioned, Miami plays Boston College twice and Georgia Tech. Miami has to win all three of those games. Losses to teams below them in the standing will all but end Miami's chance for an NCAA Tournament at-large berth. A win over North Carolina on Saturday is critical for the Miami basketball team.