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Miami 71, Clemson 65: ‘Never in doubt.’

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The senior duo of Kamari Murphy and Davon Reed proved too much for the Clemson Tigers to handle.

NCAA Basketball: Clemson at Miami Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

I present to you a game that was never in doubt.

Indeed, the Hurricanes just couldn’t quite pull away for the better part of 40 minutes, and that’s a testament to Clemson — they fought tooth and nail from the tip.

That said: You don’t travel to the Watsco Center these days and expect to win. You just don't.

These words may or may not have flowed out of the mouth of Kamari Murphy, as he woke up at dawn for a noon meeting with the Tigers. I like to think they did, because Murphy played like a man possessed today. Possessed by something with an unstoppable will to not only win, but also set personal milestones.

The senior forward dropped a man-amongst-boys line against the Tigers, posting a career-high 15 points on 7-for-9 shooting, in addition to 9R, 2A, 1S, 1B. He quite literally turned predator into prey, for a day at the very least.

To be frank, the ‘Canes (18-8, 8-6 ACC) were desperate for a win in the worst way, with three of their final four regular season games coming against ranked UVA/Duke/FSU squads. Ten ACC wins pre-Conference tournament and Miami should be a lock for the Big Dance.

Maybe desperate isn’t the most accurate word to describe the situation, but this game represented a “must-win” as much as any regular season game possibly can. In a little over 48 hours, we’ll be across enemy lines for a battle with No. 14 Virginia. Yeah, we needed that dub.

In the second of a three-game suspension for starting point guard and second-leading scorer Ja’Quan Newton, the ‘Canes offense picked itself up with great ball movement and a tendency to take care of the rock. In the first game minus-Newton, Miami totaled 9 assists and 17 turnovers.

You wouldn’t have noticed careless ‘Quan (who averages 3.5 TO/game) was gone until today. Against Clemson, the team finished with a 19:7 assist-to-turnover ratio. The ‘passing feeling’ was led by Amp, Davon Reed and Bruce Brown, who had five a piece.

Like Murphy, the dishing trio stuffed the rest of the box score, too.

Our worthy leader R33D finished with 14P/7R/5A.

Amp totaled 12P/4R/5A/3S.

Brown had 9P/5R/5A and this nail-in-the-coffin bucket.

Clemson had eight assists as a team.

Miami shot 32% from three, which is bad and not good. Still, it paled in comparison to Clemson’s putrid 18% shooting from distance. We hit big shots when it mattered. They didn’t.

And so, on to Charlottesville, Virginia we go.

-@FialkowPunch