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Breaking Down Miami Basketball's Bubble Hopes with Blogging the Bracket

Starting tonight Vs FSU, the 'Canes have a critical stretch.

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

As you may or may not know, SB Nation has their own (and they did better than Lunardi) Bracketologists.

They reside over at Blogging the Bracket,  and they do outstanding work.

Why is this important you ask?

Well Miami Basketball is sitting squarely on the bubble.

What will it take for UM to go dancing come Selection Sunday?

We caught up with Chris Dobbertean of BTB to find that out and much more.   Full Q&A below.


SOTU: Where do you currently have Miami (in or out/how far out)? Which teams are they competing with on the bubble?

CD: Right now, I have Miami as the fourth team out. Their primary competition is Illinois, a team they defeated in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge; Oregon, another team that beat the Illini; Stanford, a team that started well but is fading; Purdue, which has done the reverse of the Cardinal; UCLA, whose late charge was slowed when they were swept in the desert last week; and a group of non-power conference teams made up of Boise State, BYU, Davidson, Rhode Island, and Tulsa, all of whom have good computer numbers, but lack the quality wins a team like Miami has.

SOTU: What do the 'Canes need to do to get an NCAA bid in their final 4 games/The ACC Tournament?

CD: The easy answer here is "win," starting tonight against a Florida State team that Miami should have defeated back on February 1st in Tally.Saturday's home finale against North Carolina is also huge, as it's a chance to grab one more quality win before the ACC Tournament. However, road trips to Pitt and Virginia Tech cannot be taken lightly, especially that game in Blacksburg because a loss there could end up being fatal from an RPI perspective.

SOTU:  What are the strongest/weakest parts of UM's resume?

CD: The RPI's treatment of road wins plays a part in both. The best part is clearly the win at Duke. The RPI is weighted to reward wins on the road, so defeating a team that's in the top five of the metric delivers a significant bonus. With N.C. State's win at North Carolina last night, the Wolfpack are more safely in the RPI Top 50, so if Miami can defeat the Tar Heels on Saturday, they are likely to boost their record against the RPI Top 50 to 3-5, which would be quite good for this bubble. Another strong point is the Canes' 8-5 record away from Coral Gables.

On the flip side, the worst part is the pair of home losses to Georgia Tech and Eastern Kentucky, as both teams are outside of the RPI Top 100. As much as the RPI rewards road wins, it equally penalizes home defeats. The EKU loss, in particular, is damaging, since the Colonels are currently outside of the RPI Top 150. It is a picture perfect example of a "bad loss."

SOTU: Finally, give us a prediction.  Will Miami fans be happy on Selection Sunday?

CD: I think Miami fans might very well be happy, even if the Hurricanes do slide into the 7 or 8 seed in Greensboro, as they have already defeated Duke once and took Virginia to double OT. So, a surprise ACC Tournament run could be in the cards. Saturday's late quality win chance against UNC is coming at the right time, as they're back on their heels a bit, and the remaining regular season games aren't overly daunting.

There you have it Hurricanes fans. Miami still has a good chance to dance.  Thanks again to Chris for working with us.

Be sure to catch the 'Canes in action tonight at 9 PM Vs FSU.  #PackTheBUC


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