Did Durand Scott’s suspension cost Miami a trip to the Big Dance?


I wonder if Durand Scott would have been the difference?

That’s what every Miami basketball fan (there aren’t many of them) is going to be asking themselves over the course of the next two days.

As it stands, Miami’s 82-71 loss to No. 17 Florida State is probably a killer for their at-large hopes. They were on the wrong side of the bubble before the day started, and giving up 82 points to a Florida State team that hasn’t exactly been known for their scoring prowess this season — they put 90 on North Carolina in regulation and 75 on Princeton in a three-overtime loss? — isn’t exactly the way to impress the selection committee.

The thorn in the side for the Hurricanes is going to be the fact that Scott was declared ineligible for this game by the NCAA. He is the latest Hurricane to get caught up in the NCAA’s sweep over the Miami athletics department stemming from a Yahoo! report on convicted Ponzi-schemer Nevin Shapiro’s ties to the program.

Scott took illegal benefits from an assistant coach and, like Reggie Johnson a few weeks ago, he will likely be ineligible to play until he repays those benefits. Unfortunately for the Hurricanes, once Scott does repay those benefits, he will be playing in the NIT.

Miami’s turnaround during the late-stages of ACC play was impressive. The play of Kenny Kadji lends hope to the future of the program. But for now, Miami will once again return to the irrelevancy it experienced for the majority of Frank Haith’s tenure.

The irony?

He couldn’t get Miami to the NCAA Tournament when he was the coach there, and he may have cost them a chance at a bid after he left.

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.