Miami faces a pair of nationally-ranked opponents this week, matching up with No. 18 Duke on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., then No. 2 Syracuse Saturday at 1 p.m., both at the BankUnited Center.
Miami is 4-16 in the all-time series against Duke, which dates back to the 1962-63 season, but 2-1 since the arrival of Coach Larrañaga. The Canes are 3-6 against the Blue Devils at home, 0-2 at neutral sites and 1-8 on the road. Duke won the last matchup against Miami, defeating the Canes, 79-76, on March 2, 2013 at Cameron Indoor Stadium. UM won the previous two meetings, at Cameron Indoor Stadium in 2012 and in Coral Gables in 2013.
Catch the game on ESPN2 with Bob Wischusen and Dick Vitale making the call. Also check out the game on 560 WQAM Radio with Joe Zagacki, the Voice of the Hurricanes, and on 90.5 WVUM, Miami’s student station.
Head coach Jim Larrañaga has a 529-361 overall record in his 30th season as a head coach. He is 59-27 in his third season at the University of Miami.
Miami has risen 50 spots in the Ken Pomeroy Ratings in less than a month, currently sitting at No. 61. Duke is No. 20.
Projected temperatures on game day: Coral Gables – 64/48. Durham, N.C. – 34/23.
Miami returns to the BankUnited Center Saturday, Jan. 25 to face No. 2 Syracuse (Jan. 25).
The Grind of the ACC Schedule
Four of Miami’s first six games of the new year are against teams listed in national polls. After playing at No. 2 Syracuse on Jan. 4, Miami traveled to RV/RV North Carolina on Jan. 8. Then a Jan. 15 home game against in-state rival Florida State was followed by a game at Georgia Tech on Jan. 18. The Canes return home to face No. 18 Duke (Jan. 22) and No. 2 Syracuse (Jan. 25).
Coach L vs. The ACC
Coach Larrañaga has .500 or above winning percentage against all 11 returning ACC schools, and is 0-1 against the newcomers. Notably, Coach L is 6-3 combined against Duke and North Carolina.
Larrañaga and Krzyzewski
Miami coach Jim Larrañaga and Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski are two of four ACC coaches with a Final Four appearance to his credit. At George Mason, Larrañaga took the 2006 Patriots to the Final Four. Larrañaga and Krzyzewski are two of four active ACC coaches with 500 or more wins. Larrañaga and Mike Krzyzewski have both won the following coach of the year awards: Naismith, AP and ACC.
Stifling D by the Hurricanes
After playing man-to-man defense 95 percent of the time in his first 40 years of coaching, Jim Larrañaga’s team is now playing zone 95 percent of the game.
With the zone, Miami has held its last 11 opponents to less than 70 points, and only two teams overall this season have scored more than 70 points on the Canes (80-Georgia Southern, 71-George Washington). Prior to the game against Florida State, UM held five-straight opponents to fewer than 60 points.
US News and World Report
According to latest US News & World Report rankings, the University of Miami is the top academic institution in the state of Florida and ranks 47th nationally.
What a Difference a Year Makes
A season ago, only one of Miami’s starters were playing for the Canes, while another was out with injury. Four of Miami’s current top seven players were scattered across the world playing ball. Rion Brown was Miami’s seventh man, averaging 11 points, 1.7 rebounds and 0 assists in 20.0 minutes after three ACC games. Garrius Adams was sitting out the season while rehabbing a knee injury, and Donnavan Kirk was playing at DePaul in the BIG EAST Conference. James Kelly was playing at Owens Community College while Davon Reed was still playing prep ball at Princeton Day School (N.J.). Manu Lecomte was playing as an amateur in a professional league in Belgium and Tonye Jekiri was averaging 1.3 points and 2.3 rebounds in 5.3 minutes per ACC game.
Miami leads all ACC schools having played eight games decided by five points-or-less or in overtime. Miami has played four overtime games and four others that were decided in the final minutes. Miami is 1-3 in overtime this season and 2-2 in close games that ended in regulation: wins at Cal State Fullerton and vs. Arizona, and losses to UCF and at Syracuse.
SOURCE: University of Miami Athletics