It's not everyday that you have a chance to play for a conference championship.
But that is just what is at stake today for UM in Blacksburg.
The 'Canes have been spectacular all season, with the bumps few and far between.
If they beat VT, and UNC loses later today at Duke, they will win their second ACC Title outright in 4 years.
Think about that for a second.
In a conference with traditional superpowers like Carolina, Duke, Syracuse, Louisville, and Virginia, Miami has stood toe to toe and then some.
Today's game will be no easy task though.
VT features an excellent inside out duo in Zach LeDay and Seth Allen. They also have a plethora of good young wing players like Jalen Hudson.
The Hurricanes of course counter with red hot PG Angel Rodriguez, efficient SG Sheldon McClellan, defensive stalwart Tonye Jekiri, and a host of other guys who can get it done.
But can they finish the deal today and possibly put themselves in position for an ACC Crown and much bigger?
Stay tuned 'Canes fans.
Game Notes (Courtesy UM):
No. 7 Miami concludes the regular season on March 5 at 4 p.m. against the Virginia Tech Hokies in Blacksburg, Va.
Miami (at Virginia Tech)
The Hurricanes will be the No. 1 seed with a win AND a North Carolina loss
The Hurricanes will be the No. 2 seed with a win AND a North Carolina win
The Hurricanes will be the No. 2 seed with a loss AND a Virginia loss
The Hurricanes will be the No. 3 seed with a loss AND a Virginia win
Catch the game on ACC Network with Tim Brant and Dave Odom on the call. Affiliates: http://theacc.co/
Also check out the game on 560 WQAM radio with Joe Zagacki, the Voice of the Hurricanes.
Head coach Jim Larrañaga has a 585-388 overall record in his 32nd season as a head coach. He is 115-54 in his fifth season at the University of Miami, with a 54-33 mark in ACC play.
The Polls (as of March 3)
AP: Miami -7, Virginia Tech- NR
USA TODAY: Miami - 7, Virginia Tech - NR
KenPom.com: Miami - 10, Virginia Tech - 87
NCAA RPI: Miami -6, Virginia Tech - 98
Miami’s 15-consecutive weeks in the polls top the school record of 12 from 2001-02.
UM has been ranked in the AP’s top 15 for 12 weeks this season, topping the previous school record of 10 in the 1959-60 season.
The Canes are ranked 12-or-better in the AP for the sixth time this season, 13th time under Coach L, 17th time since 1985-86 and 24th time since 1959-60.
Game day temperatures: Coral Gables - 77/65; Blacksburg, Va. - 50/33.
Miami is 18-12 in the all-time series against Virginia Tech, which dates back to the 2000-01 season. The Canes are 9-4 at home against the Hokies, 6-6 on the road and 3-2 at neutral sites. UM is 8-2 against VT under Coach L.
This season Miami defeated VT 65-49 on Feb. 17, its fifth-straight win over the Hokies. In that game, Angel Rodriguez notched 14 points, four assists and three steals, while Kamari Murphy grabbed 10 rebounds and scored six points.
Senior guard Sheldon McClellan is the second-most efficient offensive player in the country among players used in 20 percent of possessions, and 16th overall, according to KenPom.com on March 3. McClellan has posted the 13th-best shooting percentage (50.4%) in the country among guards, and has the top shooting percentage among guards in the ACC, according to stats on NCAA.org on March 3. McClellan’s 2-point shooting percentage is 57.3 percent this season.
Miami Posts 20-Win Season
Coach Jim Larrañaga has posted his fourth 20-win season in five years at The U, and his 10th career 20-win season. This is Miami’s seventh 20-win season since joining the ACC for the 2004-05 campaign. Larrañaga is just the second coach in Miami history with four 20-win seasons, joining Bruce Hale (1954-67).
Thirteen ACC Wins for the Second Time Under Coach L
Miami has won 13 games in ACC play for just the second time in school history, along with 15 wins in 2012-13. In five seasons under Larrañaga, the Canes have won seven-or-more ACC games each season. Prior to the arrival of Coach L, Miami had never won 10 ACC games in a season.
Miami as a Ranked Team
Miami is one of seven schools in the country to win at least five games over top 25 teams this season: 8-Kansas; 7-Oklahoma, 6-Xavier, Texas; 5-Miami, Virginia, Wisconsin. Miami is one of five schools to start the season unranked and defeat at least two top 15 teams: 5-Texas; 3-Iowa, Texas A&M, Xavier; 2-Miami.
Tied for Most Regular-Season Wins
Miami is 24-5 this season, tied with the 24-6 record in 2012-13, for the most regular-season wins in Hurricanes history. In Larrañaga’s five seasons, the Canes have the following records in the regular season: 2015-16: 24-5, 2014-15: 20-11, 2013-14: 16-15, 2012-13: 24-6, 2011:12: 18-11.
Jekiri a Candidate for ACC Defensive Player of the Year
"If Tonye Jekiri is not the ACC Defensive Player of the Year, I don’t know who is. I don’t know where we would even be without him. We wouldn’t be one of those six teams vying for the regular-season title. We’d be at the bottom of this league. It is really hard to put a number on how much he impacts the game." - Coach Jim Larrañaga
Best FG Shooting Percentage in 27 Years
The Canes are hitting 47.4 percent (759-1602) from the field, the best in Miami’s history since the 1988-89 season when UM was hitting 49.2 percent (1024-2083) of its shots. Miami’s 75.3 percent at the line is the best since 77.1 percent in 2001-02.
McClellan Second-Most Efficient Player in the Nation
Sheldon McClellan is the second-most efficient offensive player in the nation, among players with 20 percent-or-more possessions used, according to KenPom.com. He is also the most efficient player in the ACC overall, and No. 16 in the nation. McClellan is 11th in the ACC in 2-point field goal percentage (55.8), sixth in true shooting percentage (62.6) and seventh in free throw percentage (84.8). He is also fifth in the ACC in turnover rate (9.9).
Canes 20th in Nation in FT Percentage
Miami ranks 20th in the nation in free throw percentage, connecting on 481-of-639 (75.3%) shots at the free throw line. UM averages 16.6 points per game at the line, and has posted a +10.2 scoring margin overall this season. The Canes have drawn 556 fouls, while committing only 469, which ranks UM No. 12 in the country in fewest fouls. Opponents have just 456 attempts at the charity stripe.
Newton Best Sixth Man in the Country
Dick Vitale has lauded Miami sophomore Ja’Quan Newton as the "best sixth man in the country." Newton has immensely improved his stats from last year, and has scored in double digits 18 times this season.
In 10 ACC victories Newton has played in (not vs. VT on 2/17, Louisville and Notre Dame), he has averaged 11.4 points and 2.3 assists per game, hitting 50.6 percent from the field. In the Canes’ four losses he has put up 6.8 points and 1.3 assists per outing, knocking down 26.5 percent of his shots.
Reed Named to All-ACC Academic Team
Davon Reed was named to the 2015-16 All-Atlantic Coast Conference Academic Men’s Basketball team. The junior from Ewing, N.J., is majoring in sports administration.
Tonye Jekiri Eyeing Miami’s Rebounding Records
Senior center Tonye Jekiri has 869 rebounds in 133 career games at The U, good enough for fourth on the all-time rebounding list. Harry Manushaw is third with 914 career boards.
McClellan Tops 1,000 Points at Miami
Sheldon McClellan has tallied 1,003 points in 67 games at Miami. Added to his 843 points at Texas, he is also closing in on 2,000 career points.