ACC Quarterfinal Preview: Miami

After a very disappointing end to what was otherwise a brilliant regular season, the Blue Devils look to get back to their winning ways as they begin the quest for a seventh ACC Championship in eight years.


ACC Quarterfinals
1 Duke (27-3, 14-2) vs. Miami (15-14, 8-9)
Greensboro, N.C. – Greensboro Coliseum
12:00 p.m., ESPN

Program Vitals
Conference: ACC
Nickname: Hurricanes
Colors: Green, Orange, & White
Head Coach: Frank Haith  (2nd year)
Career Record at Miami: 34-27
Season Series Recap: Duke-92, Miami-71

Projected Starters:
12 Anthony Harris (6-2, 187, Jr.) – 10.5 ppg, 3.3 apg
13 Guillermo Diaz (6-2, 195, Jr.) – 17.3 ppg, 3.1 apg
22 Robert Hite (6-2, 190, Sr.) – 16.5 ppg, 5.4 rpg
 2 Gary Hamilton (6-10, 265, Sr.) – 3.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg
50 Anthony King (6-9, 235, Jr.) – 8.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.8 bpg

Key Reserves:
15 Denis Clemente (6-0, 165, Fr.) – 5.7 ppg, 1.9 apg
42 Raymond Hicks (6-7, 230, So.) – 4.0 ppg, 2.7 rpg
00 Jimmy Graham (6-8, 245, Fr.) – 1.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg
32 Brian Asbury (6-7, 210, Fr.) – 1.2 ppg, 1.6 rpg

Storylines:

How They Got Here: After stumbling down the stretch and losing six of their final seven regular season contests, the Hurricanes entered Greensboro desperate to pick up a couple of wins just to hope for an invite to the Postseason NIT.

That need for victory was nearly denied them in the opening round against Clemson, who led by as many as 13 in the second half before Miami used a Denis Clemente go-ahead 3-pointer with 50.9 seconds left to rally back for a 66-63 victory.

Like the Hurricanes, Duke enters the ACC Tournament on the heels of four straight subpar performances that produced losses in the seasons' final two games, including a very disappointing loss to North Carolina on senior night in Cameron. Luckily for the Blue Devils, a 14-0 start to conference play had clinched the tournament's top seed weeks ago.

Star Watch: The Miami attack starts in the backcourt where a trio of 6-foot-2 Hurricanes combine to form a lethal attack. Anthony Harris, Guillermo Diaz and Robert Hite are all supremely athletic and all are surprisingly capable rebounders. All three have proven the ability to catch fire and carry their team when needed. The flip side of the reliance on Harris, Diaz, and Hite is that when none are shooting particularly well the Hurricanes are simply not capable of beating most ACC teams.

Over the last two seasons Diaz has played some of his best games against ranked teams. Miami has faced 17 ranked teams over the last two seasons and in those games he has averaged 20.7 points per game. He has shot 123-274 (.447) from the field against ranked teams including 46-111 (.414) from three-point range. Diaz scored 20-or-more points in 11 of the 17 games versus ranked opponents.

Miami's three guard line-up of Guillermo Diaz (18.6 ppg), Robert Hite (17.3 ppg) and Anthony Harris (12.4 ppg) combined to average 48.2 points per game, or 67.5 percent (1398 of 2071) of the teams scoring last season. Harris missed the first seven games of the season with a fractured bone in his right foot. Since his return against Birmingham-Southern on Dec. 3 the trio has averaged 46.5 points per game, or 67.2 percent (792 of 1178) of the team's scoring.

The Series: This will mark the eighth meeting between Duke and Miami with the Blue Devils holding a 7-1 series advantage. It will be the fourth time that Duke and Miami will meet as ACC foes Duke has won the past seven games vs. the Hurricanes. Under Mike Krzyzewski, Duke is 7-0 vs. Miami.

Duke Notes:

- Earlier this season, J.J. Redick became Duke's all-time leading scorer with 30 points against Miami in a 21 point win.

- Redick is now second on the all-time three point scoring list, trailing St. Peter's College's Keydren Clark who finished his career with 435 3-pointers. Redick currently sits second on the all-time list with 430.

Redick also continues to widen his scoring lead on the all-time ACC list, now leading former record holder Dickie Hemric by 82 points. The Duke senior's career total sits at 2,638.

With nine points, Redick will set the all-time Duke record for most points in a season, a mark currently held by Jason Williams who scored 841 points in 2001. Redick's 27.8 points per game average is also the best ever at Duke for a single season.

- Senior Shelden Williams (1,191) is currently just 51 rebounds shy of the all-time Duke mark held by Mike Gminski (1,242). Williams has also amassed 1,815 career points, good enough for 16th best in Duke history. He trails Jeff Mullins by 69 points for 15th place all-time.

- Duke's final mark of 27 regular season wins is tied for third most in a regular season behind the 1986 and 1999 total of 29 victories.

- In the regular season ending loss to North Carolina, DeMarcus Nelson scored a career high 17 points off of 6-of-11 shooting and 2-of-5 from behind the arc. It marked his sixth consecutive game in double figures.


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