Phew. That was an entertaining February ACC matchup. The Canes are now on a five-game winning streak. Chalk up another victory against the blue bloods for Coach L!
The Miami Hurricanes beat the North Carolina Tar Heels tonight in Chapel Hill, NC, 80-72. Jordan Miller led the Canes with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Nijel Pack scored 23 points on 7-11 shooting. RJ Davis led the Tar Heels with 23 points. Miami improves to 21-5, 12-4 ACC. UNC falls to 16-10, 8-7 ACC
Below are some random thoughts from tonight’s game.
No Omier, no problem in the first half
Big Norchad did exactly what Canes fans were scared of, he picked up two quick fouls, forcing him to sit the remaining 12-plus minutes of the first half. Omier did not score or collect a rebound in the first twenty minutes. Luckily, Miller, Pack, and Isaiah Wong picked up the slack on offense. Pack was especially big, scoring 11 points on 3-4 three-point shooting. Omier was missed more on defense. Bacot didn’t go off in the first half, but there was little rim protection once Omier hit the bench. UNC’s guards got to the rim consistently. Anthony Walker and AJ Casey couldn’t provide the same resistance as the Nicaraguan Nightmare.
Miami won the rebounding battle!
The Canes out-rebounded the Tar Heels tonight, 40-32. I couldn’t believe my eyes when looking at the box score. I could tell Miami was doing well on the glass, but with UNC seemingly always being great in that aspect of the game, I was expecting a deficit for our guys. Miller was great all night long with his 11. Wong had 6, Harlond Beverly had 4 big ones, and so did Wooga Poplar. It seemed like Poplar pulled down more than his 4; he was strong on the boards tonight. Omier contributed as well, grabbing 7 rebounds in 23 minutes. Great performance by everyone.
Yeah, he made a bad pass and picked up his dribble late in the game. Other than that, Nijel Pack was awesome tonight. He followed up his 11-point first half with 12 in the second. Love that consistency. Pack hit some timely three-pointers, got to the rim a couple times, and provided solid ball handling to close out the win. Canes fans have to be excited about the way he is playing lately.
Jordan. Freaking. Miller.
Coach L has said that repeatedly that Miller is the most underrated player in college basketball. His case was strengthened after tonight’s performance. Miller had a double-double on 9-14 field goals and 5-6 free-throws. He was second on the team tonight in assists, with 2. He had ZERO turnovers, huge. Oh, and he played all 40 minutes. Considering the timing of the game, the fact that it was on the road, and UNC’s desperation for a quality win, tonight was one of the best individual performances this season for Miami.
What a great way to start the week!