Isaiah Wong at UNC – Courtesy University of Miami Athletics
With only three weeks remaining in the regular season, tonight’s visit to North Carolina was huge for both teams. The Hurricanes were looking to keep pace with Pittsburgh and Virginia as they push for the #1 seed in the ACC tournament and the Tarheels need every possible win to close out the season. Tonight, it was Miami that showed the March mettle we were looking to see as they beat UNC 80-72 in Chapel Hill.
It was a close game for much for the first half with neither team able to impose themselves. Miami’s biggest issue was that Norchad Omier found himself in early foul trouble and as a result, on the bench for significant stretches of the first half. Despite this, the Canes took a 35-34 lead into the locker room thanks in large part to Nigel Pack going 3-of-4 from deep while Miami’s defense held UNC from 1-of-11 at the other end of the floor.
Miami used an early 15-2 run finally impose their will on this game as they opened a 14-point lead with just over 11 minutes to go in the contest. Jordan Miller was a stud on both sides with 24 points and 11 boards while Pack added 20 points. UNC did make fans sweat as they rallied to close to within 5 with a minutes left, but the Canes went 7-of-8 from the line to seal the win.
Next up for Miami is Wake Forest on Saturday at the Watsco Center.