After a month in the season, is it too early to look at Bracketology? Maybe, probably. But when the Canes are sitting 6-0, coming off a top 15 road win at Minnesota and are ranked 10th in the nation? It’s not too early.
ESPN’s glorified “Bracketologist,” Joe Lunardi installed his fourth edition of his bracket projections for the early college season with Miami as a 4-seed in the West Region. This doesn’t match up with the Canes’ 10th ranking, as that would hypothetically move them to a 3-seed. In this edition, Miami would play a tough mid-major, Oakland, in the round of 64 in San Diego. Miami would more than likely meet the winner of West Virginia and UT Arlington for a date in the Sweet 16.
Miami has been a 4-seed in each of Lunardi’s projections thus far. Duke, North Carolina, Notre Dame, and Virginia are the only ACC schools that have a higher seeding than Miami at this point. Obviously, the ACC schedule will hold a ton of weight come March, when the bracket projections actually matter and give fans an idea of where their team will end up, but for now, the Canes need to avoid a bad out-of-conference loss as their schedule isn’t exactly the scariest.
After the road win in Minnesota, the expectations are certainly rising for the Canes to get over their Sweet 16 hump as teams from 2013 and 2016 failed to advance to the Elite 8. The only game left on the out-of-conference schedule the Canes could be underdogs in is a potential finals match up in the Diamond Head Classic vs USC in Hawaii. Let’s see how far the Canes can rise in the rankings as well as the bracket seeding.