It was one sequence that separated No. 2 Miami from Virginia on Tuesday night.
With under 10 seconds remaining and the game tied at 50, Miami sophomore guard Shane Larkin was trapped in a double team on the right win, but used his eyes to draw a defender to the top of the key, only to find Reggie Johnson wide open under the basket for the go-ahead score, 52-50.
Guard Durand Scott stole the ensuing in-bounds pass and was fouled, sinking both free throws on the way to a 54-50 win in Coral Gables, Fla.
It was not pretty for Miami, a team that we have seen beat quality teams by 20+ points, but it’s beginning to prove a point. Coach Jim Larranaga and the Hurricanes are showing that they can win the up-tempo games when they get hot from the floor, or they can grind it out and find ways to win down the stretch.
Kenny Kadji hit a three with under a minute to play to beat Clemson Sunday, and now Larkin showed the poise to find Johnson for the win Tuesday.
The Hurricanes have other close wins in ACC play over Maryland, Boston College, and NC State. There will be nights when shots from the floor are not falling. Tonight was one of those nights. But Miami’s ability to win close games at different paces bodes well for them in the NCAA tournament.