If there were any week that would most easily allow for a team to jump in the polls from No. 8 to No. 1, it is this week with the Miami Hurricanes. After handily beating North Carolina, 87-61, the door could be open.
After No. 1 Indiana lost to Illinois, No. 2 Florida lost to Arkansas, No. 3 Michigan lost to Wisconsin, and No. 5 Kansas lost to TCU, the Hurricanes have three teams–Gonzaga, Arizona, and Duke–ahead of them who have or will likely win out this week. Will Miami make the leap?
The Case for the Hurricanes
– Miami remains undefeated in the ACC at 10-0.
– The Hurricanes have quality wins over a dangerous Michigan State team and NC State, as well as a trouncing of No. 1 Duke.
– In addition, Miami has beaten North Carolina twice, Maryland, and solid mid-majors UMass, Charlotte, and La Salle.
– Losses to No. 7 Arizona and Indiana State were without big man Reggie Johnson.
– Not only was Saturday’s 87-61 win over North Carolina a conventional win, but it was dominant as well.
– According to ESPN, “Miami is the first team to beat Duke and UNC each by 20+ points in same season since Maryland in 1974-75 season”
The Case Against the Hurricanes
– The early-season loss to Florida-Gulf Coast continues to linger.
– Arizona remains ranked higher than the Hurricanes and, barring a loss to Cal Sunday, would hold the head-to-head advantage.
– Unlike the Big Ten, the ACC is a relatively weak conference. Consider the Hurricanes’ schedule from here: Florida State, Clemson, Virginia, Wake, Virginia Tech, Duke, Georgia Tech, Clemson.
The Hurricanes have now won more conference games this season (10) with eight games remaining than they won all of last season (9). They are also almost assured on Monday of achieving the highest-ever ranking in school history. This week’s No. 8 ranking tied a school record and with at least four teams ahead of them losing, it is nearly guaranteed.
Is Miami the nation’s No. 1 team?