A Category 5 Miami Hurricane blew the North Carolina Tar Heels off the court Tuesday night 85-57 at the Watsco Center before a national ESPN audience in a game that might not even have been as close as the lopsided score indicates. Miami shot an impressive 58.06% from the field in the first half - including a blistering 57.14% from three - on the way to a 49-22 lead at the break, the Heels largest halftime deficit since 2010.
Isaiah Wong led the way with 25 points, going 5 of 8 from three. Sam Waardenburg was even better from beyond the arc, hitting 5 of 6 on the way to a career high 21 points. Kam McGusty secured a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
The win kept Miami at the top of the ACC standings at 6-1, while handing UNC their worst loss since 2012, when the Heels lost 90-57 at Florida State.
The game was a microcosm of what’s becoming a memorable season in Coral Gables. For the first time EVER, Miami swept their regular season slate with games against the research triangle - Duke, North Carolina, and NC State. Miami outlasted the Pack 91-83 on December 29. They pulled off the best road win of the college basketball year with a 76-74 triumph in Cameron Indoor Arena on January 8. And last night they beat the everloving snot out of UNC to complete the trifecta. Miami is not scheduled to play any of the three again in the regular season.
The Canes were close to accomplishing this feat a couple of times. During their magical 2012-2013 season, they lost at Duke 79-76 after beating the Blue Devils 90-63 earlier in the year. That team also swept UNC and won at NC State in a thriller 79-78. Last year’s woeful squad also almost pulled off the feat, were it not for a 67-65 loss to UNC.