Yesterday, the 10-seed Miami Hurricanes outlasted the 15-seed Virginia Tech Hokies, 57-53, avenging two regular-season losses and moving on to the Second Round. The Hokies had a chance but Joey van Zegeren missed a pair of free throws with 9.5 seconds left and the Canes sealed the deal shortly thereafter.
Now the Canes move to play the 7-seed N.C. State Wolfpack at 4:00 p.m. Thursday for the right to play Syracuse on Friday. The two teams split the home-and-home series this season. NC State won in Miami, 56-55, while the Canes won in Raleigh, 85-70.
Syracuse went 2-0 against Miami during the season, beating them 49-44 in a hard-fought road test and then 64-52 in the return trip at the Dome. While the Canes might not have the record to match the Orange, they do play a slowed-down style that seemed to stymie the SU offense and that was back when it was doing well.
As for the Pack, no one down there has forgotten the ending of the SU-NC State game and I'm sure they'd like a second shot at us after that 56-55 loss in the Dome.
Either way, expect a determined opponent when the Orange take the floor on Friday. Then again, it's tournament time…which opponent isn't going to be?