The Canes look to recover after a frustrating performance on Saturday, but will have a very difficult task at hand as the #1 ranked Virginia Cavaliers come to Coral Gables.
Who: 23-2 (12-1) Virginia Cavaliers at 18-6 (7-5) Miami Hurricanes
When: February 13th
Time: 9 PM Eastern
Virginia is currently ranked #1 in the polls, despite an overtime loss to Virginia Tech on Saturday. They are first in the ACC, sitting 2.5 games clear of second place Clemson (and 4.5 games ahead of the Canes).
Best Win: You could argue this being their 65-63 win over a 4th ranked Duke team, but the Cavaliers 61-36 drubbing of 18th ranked Clemson was astounding. 36 points. Against a top 25 opponent.
Worst Loss: Virginia Tech took advantage of a sub-par effort by the Cavaliers, pulling out a one-point ACC victory on Saturday, 61-60.
The Cavaliers leading scorers are guards Kyle Guy and Devon Hall, averaging 15.3 and 12.5 points per game respectively. Guy is a volume shooter, leading the team in field goal attempts while only shooting 40% from the field, but Hall is lethal from deep, shooting 46% from behind the arc. Overall, Virginia’s offense won’t set the world on fire, but usually does enough to get the win.
Senior forward Isaiah Wilkins is the leading rebounder, averaging more than six per game. Virginia is the top defense in the nation, allowing just under 53 points per game. They love to slow games down, which makes some of their stats misleading, as they have much fewer possessions per game. Their halfcourt defense can stifle even the best offenses in the country (Duke only scored 63 against the Cavs, and FSU only scored 55 after hanging 103 on Miami). Virginia’s players are extremely sound at keeping up with their defensive assignments, and can force turnovers where necessary. Teams that are smart with the basketball can usually hang in games, however, as the combination of Virginia’s pace and pedestrian shooting keep the Cavaliers within reach.
Interesting Facts: Miami and Virginia’s last meeting was on February 20th, 2017, and the Canes took down the Cavaliers in overtime 54-48. The last time Miami played the #1 ranked team in the nation was on January 23rd, 2013, and the Canes knocked off Duke 90-63.
Line: Virginia -5.5
ESPN’s Basketball Power Index Win Probability: 68.5% Virginia
Prediction: Miami will speed the game up early putting the slower Cavaliers on their heels. However, the Virginia defense settles in during the second half and the Canes fall just short, 66-63.