Saturday, February 9, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Miami 87, North Carolina 61
By Dana O'Neil
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- A quick look at Miami’s 87-61 win over North Carolina on Saturday.
Overview: Any lingering doubters out there about the Hurricanes? Didn’t think so.
Miami ran its record to 10-0 in the ACC, dominating the Tar Heels in a game that was one in name only. Bigger, older and tougher, Miami ran roughshod over North Carolina at home, drilling the Heels on offense and frustrating them on defense.
In uproariously topsy-turvy and unpredictable season, Miami may be one of the nation's few reliable teams.
Turning point: Tipoff. Seriously. Kenny Kadji hit a 3-pointer, setting the tone for what was to come. The Hurricanes led 13-2 early and never looked back.
Key player:Shane Larkin. The Miami guard is the prototype for the new model point guard, a guy who can score (18 points) and create (nine assists). He is equal parts nimble and smart, a deft ball handler but a savvy distributor as well and the engine for a pretty well-oiled Hurricanes machine.
Key stat: The Hurricanes owned the box score but really made the difference beyond the arc. Miami, which had a season high of 11 3-pointers coming into the game, swished 10 in the first half and finished with 15.
Miscellaneous: Midway through the first half, the BankUnited Center crowd stood up collectively and whipped out camera phones. Why? LeBron James and Dwyane Wade were in the house. Yes, the Hurricanes have officially arrived. James didn’t want to talk. “Nah, it’s my day off," he told ESPN.com. This was Miami’s first win at home against North Carolina since Jan. 4, 2003.
Next game: From the "you’ve got be kidding me" annals of scheduling cruelty, the Tar Heels head to Duke on Wednesday for the first of its two annual tap dances with the Blue Devils. Miami has something of a rivalry game too, but not quite like UNC. The Hurricanes are next at Florida State on Wednesday.