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Previewing Miami Basketball Vs Charlotte with Mid Major Madness

The 'Canes hope to take home the Gildan Charleston Classic Championship tonight Vs the 49ers (9PM ESPN2).

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

In sort of a weird scheduling snafu, the Miami Hurricanes (4-0) will face the Charlotte 49ers (3-0) twice in 3 days.

Tonight they battle in Charleston to complete the Gildan Classic.

On Tuesday they face each other in Charlotte, in a game that was likely scheduled long before both teams knew they would be in said tourney.  Or perhaps it was scheduled because of the proximity of Charleston to Charlotte?

Either way it will be a good chance for two teams with aspirations of postseason runs to test each other out, twice.

So who holds the upper hand in this unusual 3 day swing?

To get the scoop on that and learn more about the 49ers, we caught up with Ben Miraski of Mid Major Madness.

Here is our full Q&A with Ben.

SOTU: For those who haven't seen Charlotte play before, what is their style?   Who are their key players?

​MMM: Charlotte is going to play an uptempo game. The 49ers have been getting faster in each of Alan Major's seasons, and this is no exception. That plays in their favor as they do best when they are freewheeling and not trying to get too much of an offensive set going. That is because they do not do well shooting from 3. They are much more confident driving with the ball, especially with Pierria Henry running the game.

The senior point guard is one of the best ​at delivering the ball, and he still has a veteran team led by Terrence Williams on the wing and Mike Thorne inside.

The secret weapon, although not so secret is Brandon Ogbueze, a transfer from Florida (Boo, yeah, I know), who has been the best scorer for the Niners this season.

SOTU: What was the preseason expectation Alan Major's squad?   Are they an NCAA Tourney team?

​MMM: This is a team expected to contend for the Conference USA title, but they hear that every year, and they have a hard time making good on that every season. The Niners manage to pull off big upsets, but they fritter away all that good will later on. They still haven't been able to catch up to UTEP and Louisiana Tech.

Maybe that will change with a more veteran lineup, but on paper, they don't look as good as those two teams.

This will be a bubble team, and a lot will depend on whether they can win games like this one (or the next one), because they will likely not win the conference, and CUSA is not a league that is going to get a lot of respect.​

SOTU:  How strong is C-USA this season?

​MMM: CUSA is still a league in transition. It wants to be one of the big boys, but it isn't there yet. UTEP and Louisiana Tech are the standard bearers this season, and they give a good chance for this league to get two teams into the NCAA Tournament. But the profile of the league, especially with all of the membership changes recently, is not great.

Winning 90 percent of your games in this league isn't going to impress anyone, and finishing outside of the top two isn't going to do anyone any favors.​

SOTU: Which players on Miami concern you the most?

MMM:​ Obviously Angel Rodriguez has been a great player for Miami so far this season. Talk about stepping in and making an impact. The game against Florida, the game against Akron: that is big time play.

Plus he has been really good at generating turnovers, which has been a sore spot for Charlotte.

Tonye Jekiri and Sheldon McClellan are also a bit of a concern for their rebounding abilities. It is going to be a real test of the front line of Charlotte.

SOTU: How do you see the Gildan Charleston Classic playing out?  Who wins and why?

MMM: ​I would like to believe that Charlotte will hang in this game pretty well. They have the talent to compete with any team in the country. The real test will be if they can minimize their mistakes.

Being on the neutral court should help Charlotte, but the defense of Miami so far this season is a big time fear factor here. Plus the Charlotte bench is a little light.

I am going to go with Miami in this one (but maybe not next time...), 68-59.​

Thanks again to Ben for working with us.

Be sure to check out the game tonight on ESPN2 at 9PM.  And stop SOTU for more coverage on tonight's game and all things 'Canes.