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Miami Basketball Roundtable: How will the season play out? Will UM make the Big Dance?

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Today the staff at SOTU gets together and it's prediction time.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, we asked who would be Miami's best freshman, and which player was the most important?

Today we examine the expectations for the season, how many games UM wins, and will they make the big dance?

Let's see that the staff thinks, and why?

Scott Salomon is counting on 20 wins and the team to go dancing based on Coach L's wizardry.

I see Miami getting 20 wins, which will propel them into the NCAA Tournament.  I think that Miami will surprise some people at the ACC Tourney and have some momentum built up before the dance. I am going to be counting on the coaching staff to get us "smart" wins where Coach L pulls a rabbit out of a hat on a few nights to get us magical wins that we might not otherwise be counting on.  I think that having Coach L on the sidelines is good for a few extra wins anyway.  He seems to get the most out of the talent that he has and I think that he has a lot more to work with this year than meets the eye.

Josh Kaufman also went with 20 wins, and predicted a celebrator dinner after.

I see the 'Canes going 20-10 - and advancing to the 3rd round of the ACC tournament. I expect to see more offensive firepower - especially from the guard positions - than we've seen in years - maybe ever at Miami. The 'Canes will make the Tourney and celebrate with a giant crab dinner provided by Winston's Catering!

I saw the 'Canes as a tourney team as well, with a slight variation in wins, despite a projected slow start.

The 'Canes play 30 regular season games (maybe more depending on some in season tourneys) this year before heading to the ACC Tournament in Greensboro, and I see them going 21-11. With so many new faces I expect a slow start. But I think once Jim Larranaga and staff figure out what works best for this team, they will maximize the talent and UM will be a tough out in both the ACC and NCAA Tournaments.   Once Ivan Cruz Uceda returns to the mix, Miami will have a complete team inside and out. Angel Rodriguez and Sheldon McClellan will make ALL ACC second teams, and James Palmer will be an all conference freshman.  Miami will be on the bubble come  Selection Sunday, but will get a mid to late seed in the field of 68, where no one will want to face them.

Charlie Strauzer is concerned about depth but still has UM down for 19-22 victories.

Before the injury to Davon Reed and the half year suspension by the NCAA for Ivan Cruz Uceda I thought this team could win 22-24 regular season games.  I think both factors could cost us a few games and now can see us with between 19 and 22 regular season wins and needing at least 2 wins in the ACC tournament to get us into the dance.   My prediction: Regular season 20 wins, 2 ACC wins and we squeak into the dance with 22 wins, which is what bought NC State a ticket last year.  The Canes have a strong schedule, facing 11 teams that have received votes in the USA Today pre-season coaches poll (6 in the top 25) and what should prove to be a solid non-conference RPI schedule.  If the year plays out this way Miami's RPI and SOS should help land them in the big dance.

Miami kicks off the season in just over two weeks.

Full Schedule Below:

Date

Opponent

Location

TV

Time

Nov. 6

Eckerd College (exhibition)

Coral Gables, Fla.

TBA

TBA

Nov. 14

Howard

Coral Gables, Fla.

TBA

TBA

Nov. 17

at Florida

Gainesville, Fla.

ESPNU

7 p.m.

ESPN Charleston Classic (Charleston, S.C.)

Nov. 20

Drexel

Charleston, S.C.

ESPNU

3 p.m.

Nov. 21

Akron/Southern Cal

Charleston, S.C.

TBA

TBA

Nov. 23

Penn State/South Carolina/Cornell/Charlotte

Charleston, S.C.

TBA

TBA

Nov. 25

at Charlotte

Charlotte, N.C.

TBA

TBA

Nov. 28

South Alabama

Coral Gables, Fla.

TBA

TBA

Dec. 2

Illinois

Coral Gables, Fla.

ESPN2/U

9 p.m.

Dec. 6

UW-Green Bay

Coral Gables, Fla.

TBA

TBA

Dec. 8

Savannah State

Coral Gables, Fla.

TBA

TBA

Dec. 19

Eastern Kentucky

Coral Gables, Fla.

TBA

TBA

Dec. 22

vs. Providence  (at Barclays Center, N.Y.)

Barclay’s Center

TBA

TBA

Dec. 30

College of Charleston

Coral Gables, Fla.

TBA

TBA

Jan. 3

Virginia

Coral Gables, Fla.

ESPN2

2/4:30 p.m.

Jan. 10

Boston College

Coral Gables, Fla.

RSN

4 p.m.

Jan. 13

at Duke

Durham, N.C.

ESPNU

9 p.m.

Jan. 17

at Notre Dame

Notre Dame, Ind.

ESPN/2

2 p.m.

Jan. 22

NC State

Coral Gables, Fla.

ACCN

8 p.m.

Jan. 24

at Syracuse

Syracuse, N.Y.

ESPN/2

4 p.m.

Jan. 28

Georgia Tech

Coral Gables, Fla.

RSN

9 p.m.

Feb. 1

at Florida State

Tallahassee, Fla.

ESPNU

12:30 p.m.

Feb. 3

Louisville

Coral Gables, Fla.

ACCN

8 p.m.

Feb. 8

Clemson

Coral Gables, Fla.

ESPNU

6:30 p.m.

Feb. 11

at Wake Forest

Winston-Salem, N.C.

RSN

7 p.m.

Feb. 15

at Boston College

Chestnut Hill, Mass.

ESPNU

6:30 p.m.

Feb. 18

Virginia Tech

Coral Gables, Fla.

RSN

7 p.m.

Feb. 21

at Louisville

Louisville, K.Y.

ESPN/2

2 p.m.

Feb. 25

Florida State

Coral Gables, Fla.

RSN

9 p.m.

Feb. 28

North Carolina

Coral Gables, Fla.

CBS

2 p.m.

March 4

at Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, Pa.

RSN

8 p.m.

March 7

at Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, Va.

RSN

Noon

ACC Tournament, Greensboro (N.C.) Coliseum

March 10

First Round

March 11

Second Round

March 12

Quarterfinals

March 13

Semifinals

March 14

Finals

How many games do you think the 'Canes will win this season?