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5 Things to Watch for as Hurricanes Hoops take on NC State

Canes square off with the Pack 2PM today, at the BUC.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

UM will look to halt a 4 game ACC slide this afternoon.

Here are the keys:

Keep fighting - In addition to near upsets of top ranked Syracuse (twice) and 25th ranked Pitt, 4 OT losses, and the 6 losses overall of 5 points or less have to be somewhat mentally exhausting. But Coach L and staff have kept this team fighting all season long.  I don't expect that to change, but it bears watching. Even the best coached and mentally strongest teams can bend a little when faced with so many heartbreaking losses.

FT Shooting - UM's margin for error is slim as is with their offensive limits. Miami was 14-25 at the line against Pitt, including 5 HUGE misses down the stretch. On the season they knock down a very mediocre 68%. They can not continually fail from the charity stripe, if they hope for victory this afternoon.

Slow down TJ Warren - The Canes have allowed other team's top scorers to take over games down the stretch far too often (See Jarrell Eddie, Dez Wells, & Lamar Patterson).   Warren averages 22.4 ppg, so you know he's going to get his, Miami simply can not allow him to go off at the end of what should be another close game.

Keep the Pack on the Perimeter - NC State shoots just .289 from 3 point range on the season.  Despite having a talented roster, they should be ready made for what Miami likes to do in their match-up zone.

Keep Kirk involved - The 'Canes are a completely different team when Donnavan Kirk is scoring. His inside presence provides balance and helps the perimeter players get better looks. NC State is not exactly a brick wall inside, and despite the presence of 7'1 Jordan Vandenberg, Kirk should have room to operate as long as he gets some touches.

TV: RSN (Affiliates)

Affiliates for the game: FOX Sports Carolinas, FOX Sports South, FOX Sports Florida, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic Plus, New England Sports Network Plus, YES Network, FOX Sports Indiana Plus, FOX Sports North Plus, FOX Sports Midwest Plus, FOX Sports West, FOX Sports Southwest Plus, ESPN3 (Subject to Blackout), FOX Sports Detroit, ROOT Sports Pittsburgh, ROOT Sports Rocky Mtn., ROOT Sports Northwest.

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