Coral Gables, FL (Sports Network) - The Virginia Cavaliers look to end the
Hurricanes' run as they tangle with second-ranked Miami-Florida in an Atlantic
Coast Conference matchup at the BankUnited Center.
This will be the first meeting of the season between these conference rivals.
Miami holds a 9-5 all-time series edge versus the Cavaliers.
Jim Larranaga's Hurricanes have still yet to be defeated at home (11-0) and in
ACC play (12-0) this season. Miami survived a thriller on Sunday night,
overcoming a late four-point deficit to down Clemson, 46-44, for its 13th
consecutive victory. The usually reliable Hurricanes struggled against the
Tigers as Durand Scott and Shane Larkin combined for just 10 points on 3-of-16
shooting from the field, but Kenny Kadji came through with 12 points that
includes a late go-ahead 3-pointer.
Virginia will be looking to bounce back from a forgettable performance that
resulted with a 93-81 loss at North Carolina. Tony Bennett's Cavaliers have
been known for their superb defensive prowess that limits foes to an ACC low,
54.0 ppg. The Tar Heels had no trouble finding creases in the defense as they
connected on 49.2 percent of their shots from the field including 13-of-28
from beyond the arc. Joe Harris paced Virginia with 27 points in the setback
while Jontel Evans tallied 12 points and five assists.
Miami's road victories have not been easy to collect, but it is much more
dominant at the BankUnited Center. The Hurricanes' last four home wins have
come by an average of 24.8 point margin. Scott paces the team with 13.4 ppg,
while Larkin adds 13.2 points, 4.3 assists and 2.1 steals per outing. Kadji,
Julian Gamble, and Reggie Johnson form a tremendous frontcourt that produces
on both ends of the floor. Larranaga's squad is submitting a very balanced
effort with only 58.7 points allowed per tilt to the 69.5 it produces.
The loss to UNC snapped the Cavaliers' three-game winning streak and dropped
them to an 18-7 overall record. Harris has been stellar all season long and is
scoring a team-high 16.7 ppg and is shooting at a 49.2-percent clip from
beyond the arc (63-of-128). Akil Mitchell is next in line with 12.6 points to
go along with a team-best 8.8 rebounds per tilt. The duo's production has not
been enough to raise Virginia any higher than 10th in the ACC in scoring
The Sports Network