Madison Jones, Trey McKinney Jones, Reggie Johnson

Will Miami’s loss to Wake Forest be a wake-up call or a sign of trouble?


You could see this coming from Miami.

After starting out ACC play on fire, the Hurricanes needed a three-ball from Kenny Kadji with 17 seconds left to win at Clemson and a layup from Reggie Johnson with five seconds left to hold off Virginia at home.

And on Saturday, No. 2 Miami (22-4, 13-1) dug themselves a 19 point hole in the first half before eventually losing to Wake Forest (12-14, 5-9) 80-65.

The biggest issue for the Hurricanes was on the defensive end of the floor. Those 80 points they gave up? The most Jim Larranaga’s team has allowed this season despite playing three teams that are in contention for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. The Hurricanes were fifth in the country in defensive efficiency entering the game. They were also 285th in pace. Teams don’t score a lot of points

Clemson and Virginia combined to score 93 points in the last 80 minutes of basketball that Miami had played. Wake Forest — Wake Forest — scored 80. They attacked Miami’s big men, they took advantage of transition opportunities, they made the Hurricanes pay for their poor rotations, and they made their open looks. It sounds simple because it was, which is why Wake Forest deserves a ton of credit for this win. They made beating the No. 2 team in the country look easy.

Miami made a run in the second half. At one point they cut Wake Forest’s lead down to five points with the ball. But the Hurricanes just didn’t have any patience on that end of the floor. Shooting off of the first pass on every possession is not the way to make a comeback on the road, and it’s fairly surprising coming from a team chock-full of veterans.

This shouldn’t change things for the Hurricanes. They still have a chance at a No. 1 seed, and it will likely still require them to beat Duke in Cameron next week to make that happen. An entire season’s worth of work doesn’t get flushed down the toilet because of one poor performance on the road in league play.

If anything, this loss was a wake-up call. Miami’s not going to be able to simply get by on their talent alone. They can’t just show up and win a game.

They host Virginia Tech on Wednesday. How they play in that game will tell us a lot more about this team than Saturday did.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

NEW PODCAST: Recapping Feast Week

Kris Dunn
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.

For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.

Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.


AP Poll: Syracuse, Xavier big winners in college basketball rankings

(Brad Horrigan/The Courant via AP)
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The new college basketball AP Poll is out, and it shouldn’t be much of a surprise to you that Syracuse and Xavier are the big winners.

The Orange steamrolled through a good Battle 4 Atlantis field, while Xavier capped a dominating performance in the Advocare Invitational with a 29-point win over Dayton. It should be no surprise that they are where they are.

[MORE RANKINGS: top 25 | Coaches Poll]

It is a bit surprising, however, that both Texas A&M and Providence made it into the polls with a loss this week. They both deserve to be there, I just wasn’t sure they were both going to be.

Anyway, here is the full poll:

1. Kentucky (59 first place votes)
2. Maryland (4)
3. Michigan State (2)
4. Kansas
5. Iowa State
6. Oklahoma
7. Duke
8. Villanova
9. North Carolina
10. Virginia
11. Purdue
12. Xavier
13. Gonzaga
14. Syracuse
15. Oregon
16. Vanderbilt
17. Cincinnati
18. Texas A&M
19. Arizona
20. West Virginia
21. Miami
22. SMU
23. Providence
24. Louisville
25. Baylor

NEW THIS WEEK: Syracuse, West Virginia, SMU, Providence, Louisville

DROPPED OUT: Indiana, Cal, UConn, LSU, Wichita State