Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Is history against Miami?
By Luke Lapinski
Miami's run to No. 3 in the latest AP Top 25 has been remarkable. The Hurricanes weren't ranked last year and remained unranked in this year's preseason poll. Now they're 19-3, sit atop the ACC and are the only team in any of the six major conferences to boast an undefeated record (10-0) in conference play this season.
So how does that project to the NCAA Tournament? Historically, teams in Miami's situation are hard to find. And, as Matt Norlander of CBS Sports indicates, they don't tend to have all that much success when March rolls around. Perhaps that's because the other strong clubs around them regain the form that had them so highly rated in the first place. Or maybe it's because some of these teams that rise up quickly simply catch lightning in a bottle, then start to lose their magic when single elimination play begins.
In Miami's case though, it's tough to envision the 'Canes just falling apart. Jim Larranaga seems to get the most out of his players in March (see: George Mason, 2006) and this group has some strong senior weapons (Durand Scott, Kenny Kadji and Reggie Johnson, to name a few) leading the way in key roles. Plus, as we noted last week, they're playing strong defense. And that's usually a good sign that a team isn't going to just completely meltdown at the start of the tournament.