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Hurricanes 77, Tar Heels 62: ‘New day, new team’

The Miami Hurricanes were firing on all cylinders en route to a complete domination of No. 9 North Carolina.

North Carolina v Miami Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images

As chants of “overrated” hailed down from the Watco Center upon the (admittedly overrated) Tar Heels, I couldn’t help but think: What a difference three days make.

Not 72 hours after gutting out a win against Boston College, the Miami Hurricanes (14-6, 4-4 ACC) returned to action, this time going up against the dreaded No. 9 North Carolina Tar Heels.

Prior to tip-off, conventional wisdom said this game could get ugly, fast.

It was hard to predict which Canes team would show up this afternoon, ever since ACC play begin and their Jekyll & Hyde M.O. became evident. Without exaggeration, this team can go from fluid, competent and dangerous to discombobulated and completely ineffective before you can say “Dejan Vasiljevic”.

Yet, incredibly, for an entire 40 minutes of college hoops, the Miami Hurricanes ‘A-Team’ — the one with aspirations of meaningful tournament play — made an appearance. Making for some must-see ACC TV, The U showed up to the tune of a systematic 77-62 dismantling of Roy Williams’ precious baby blue babies.

Bruce Brown was setting freshman records, Ja’Quan Newton (18 points) was dishing and swishing, the pick-and-roll was cooking and it all culminated in the biggest win of the season for the Hurricanes.

Throughout the final 16 minutes of the first half, Miami did what they do best — play defense — and held UNC to just 11 points. For the half, North Carolina shot 20.7% from the field. That is no bueno. At that point the Canes were already running away with the battle-that-never-was.

Want to hear a funny joke?

UNC had more turnovers (9) in the first 20 minutes than they had made baskets (6).

Laugh. You won’t hear something that hilarious for quite some time.

Star of the Game: Bruce Brown

Mr. Do-It-All did it all and then some on Saturday. Brown needed only 11 shots (ELEVEN!) to notch a career-high 30 points, the most scored by a Miami freshman since they joined the ACC in 2004. Additionally, that’s the first 30-point finish from a Cane since 2014. Sigh.

His final line: 30 PTS, 5 AST, 4 REB, 2 BLK, 2 STL.

Still, there’s some bad and alright news to unpack from this undoubtedly good and, in fact, not bad performance.

Great News: We haven’t seen a freshman as highly talented as he was highly touted since .... since ... Well, give me a minute, it’s been a while.

Bad News: If Bruce keeps up this form — improving game by game as he appears to be doing — you won’t be seeing much more of him balling at the Wat. Yeah, HE GONE.

Alright News: At least we can all commence in the rarest of routines for the Canes Hoops faithful and simultaneously drop $120 on an NBA jersey come June 22, 2017. (Maybe go for the $30 shirsey option, I’m with it).


  • Tough on the inside. Tough on the outside. This defense was a moving wall of concrete all game long. This display paved the way to a necessary 41-36 rebounding advantage. Like always, no one gets more hyped for a Kamari Murphy rebound than Kamari Murphy.
  • Miami has finally crawled back to .500 in ACC play (4-4).
  • Under Coach Jim Larranaga, Miami is now 5W-4L against North Carolina. Prior to Larra Legend’s arrival, the Canes were 2-14.
  • That makes 23 wins in the last 24 home games.
  • Two blocks for Ebuka Izunda in eight minutes. Hoorah!

That’s all for now. Lots more Canes Hoops content coming at y’all in next few days, stay prepped. Florida State’s Top-10** unit arrives Wednesday.

Before I go, just one question for everyone ...