Two Game Season Starts Tonight

It is yet to be determined how Miami will show their team unity Tuesday night when they travel to Philadelphia to play Villanova. No matter if they decide to repeat last week's look and drape themselves in headbands for a half, or if they come up with a new look, it doesn't really matter. There is no time to waste.

Perry Clark must take a page from Al Davis and "just win baby", and end this ten game slide that they are currently on.

When these two teams last met at the Convocation Center in January, Miami was 13-5. An in-ability to handle the ball along with Villanova making free throws down the stretch helped the Wildcats steal a victory from Miami, 76-69. That was the first defeat in Miami's current losing streak.

Because of injuries and poor play, Miami hasn't been competitive in three weeks, losing four straight games, each by double figure margins. With the boo-birds chirping loud on Tuesday, maybe the best thing for Miami to do is hit the road and get a victory. If the two Miami seniors, Darius Rice and Rodrigue Djahue, do not want this to be their next to last game in a Miami uniform, they will have to lead the Canes. Darius Rice played his first game in a week against Seton Hall, after sitting out the previous two with injuries. Darius is showing why he is a warrior and how deeply he will be missed. Rice played one of his best games of the season last Tuesday, scoring 19 points and collecting 5 rebounds.

For Miami to avenge their early season loss to the Wildcats, the supporting cast for Miami must also play well. In the first meeting, Miami's big three, Guillmero Diaz, Rob Hite, and Darius Rice, all scored in double figures. Hite led the way with 21. Rice managed 15 points but was a dreadful 1-10 from the three-point line and 4-19 from the field. That absolutely must improve.

Obviously, three guys can't beat five. Armando Surratt, Eric Wilkins, William Frisby, Karron Clarke and Djahue will be the ones who decide this game, based on how much production they give Miami. Anthony King tallied 5 points and 5 rebounds against Seton Hall in the Canes last game. If he could give Miami another boost tonight, that would help the Hurricanes dramatically.

Miami is catching Villanova (14-13, 6-8 Big East) at a good time, as they are definitely not playing their best ball of the season. Jay Wright's Wildcats enter the game as losers of three straight, and five of their last six. Villanova desperately needs the victory, as they are playing for position in the Big East Tournament. Four Wildcats average double figures. Sophomore Allen Ray is the conference's ninth leading scorer at 17.3 points per game. Curtis Sumpter (15.6 ppg), Randy Foye (13.7 ppg), and Mike Nardi (10.4 ppg) are also averaging in double figures. The last time these two teams met, three sophomores led the way for Villanova. Randy Foye scored 21 to go with 7 boards, Curtis Sumpter had 16 points and 9 rebounds, and Allen Ray had 15 points and 5 rebounds. These three hurt Miami tremendously from the foul line, as they shot 87%, a combined 20-23.

Miami, whom is 3-8 away from the Convocation Center this season, is on the road for their last regular season game. Miami comes in (13-15 overall) 3-11 in the Big East and must win to stay alive for the 12th and final spot in the conference tournament. Miami has one scenario possible to qualify; Miami must win their remaining two games and have either Virginia Tech or Georgetown lose their last two games. If either Georgetown or Virginia Tech are victorious in either of their last two games or Miami loses, the Canes are then eliminated from post-season competition. Joe Zagacki and Josh Darrow will have the play by play from the Pavillion on 560 WQAM in Miami, ESPN full court will have the audio feed, tip time is 7:30.

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