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Hoops preview: Canes vs. Tar Heels

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The Hurricanes will need to produce some more magic against UNC in order to reach the ACC Tournament semifinals

NCAA Basketball: Miami at North Carolina Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

After a wild finish to the regular season saw the Miami Hurricanes men’s basketball team earn the fourth seed and a double-bye in the ACC Tournament, it’s finally time for the Canes to play ball again.

No. 24 Miami will take on the No. 12 North Carolina Tar Heels in the last game of Thursday’s ACC Tournament quarterfinals at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

The last time these two teams met, Miami ruined UNC’s senior night on Feb. 27 thanks to a buzzer beating three-pointer by Ja’Quan Newton to give the Canes a 91-88 victory. In the victory, six Canes scored in double-figures, led by Chris Lykes’ 18 points.

After living on the bubble for a little bit, the Hurricanes are pretty safely in the NCAA Tournament field. Since losing three straight in the middle of February, Miami has run off four-consecutive victories, all by three points or less. Meanwhile, UNC has lost two out of its last three games, but the Tar Heels rebounded from a 74-64 regular season finale loss to rival Duke to easily take care of Syracuse 78-59 in the second round of the ACC Tournament.

Miami and UNC also faced off last season in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals, with the Tar Heels easily beating Miami 78-53. The two teams have alternated wins and losses going back to the 2015-16 season.

The winner of this game will advance to the semifinals to play the winner of No. 5 Duke/Notre Dame on Friday, March 8 at 9 p.m.