Miami Hurricanes men on cusp of Top 5 ranking with win over North Carolina
If there was still any question whether the No.8 University of Miami basketball program has officially arrived, it was answered at around 4 p.m. Saturday in the front row of BankUnited Center.
Heat stars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and James Jones leaped to their feet and cheered along with the sellout crowd as Hurricanes forward Kenny Kadji threw down a thunderous dunk off a slick backboard assist from Shane Larkin, giving UM a 24-point lead over the North Carolina Tar Heels.
The Canes, playing with a swagger reminiscent of the UM football teams of the 1980s, toyed with the Heels, making their 87-61 victory look like a lopsided playground game.
UM tied a school record with 15 three-pointers, extended its win streak to 11 games and improved its record to 19-3 and 10-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Miami is the only team of the six power conferences with an unbeaten league record and became the first team since the ACC’s inception in 1953 to beat Duke and North Carolina by 25-plus points in the same season.
With losses by No. 1 Indiana, No. 2 Florida, No. 3 Michigan and No. 5 Kansas, the Hurricanes could move into the top 5. No UM team has ever been ranked higher than eighth, and that has happened only twice — now and 53 years ago.