The No. 6 Miami-Florida Hurricanes can clinch the outright Atlantic Coast Conference regular season title as they host the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at the BankUnited Center on Wednesday.
This will be the second matchup between Georgia Tech and Miami this season. The Hurricanes invaded Atlanta on Jan. 5 to claim a 62-49 victory in the inaugural bout as Rion Brown was the unlikely leading scorer with a career- high 22 points. Brown has scored in double-figures just twice since that contest, which gave Miami a 10-6 all-time series lead.
Brian Gregory's Yellow Jackets are coming off a 70-57 home loss to NC State that marked their third double-digit setback in the past four games. The recent slump has dropped Georgia Tech to a 15-13 overall record which includes a 5-11 mark in ACC action. Gregory needs just two more wins to notch his 200th career victory and the team needs just one to secure a winning season. The Yellow Jackets have shown a great deal of improvement in year two of the Gregory era due to a tremendous effort on the defensive end. Georgia Tech is ranked 47th in the nation in scoring defense (60.9) and 28th in field goal percentage defense (0.389), both of which are good for fourth best in the ACC.
Unfortunately for Georgia Tech fans, the squad has been nowhere near as productive on the offensive end. In the loss to the Wolfpack, the Yellow Jackets converted only 34.4 percent of their field goal tries and failed to place a player in double-figures. Mfon Udofia tallied nine points in the final home game of his career while Robert Carter and Daniel Miller chipped in eight points apiece. Marcus Georges-Hunt, who paces the team on the season with 10.5 ppg, went 2-of-8 from the field to net only six points.
Jim Larranaga's Hurricanes missed an opportunity to clinch the ACC regular season title on Saturday as they came up just short at Cameron Indoor Stadium and lost, 79-76, to Duke. The loss was the second in three games for Miami after it began its ACC season with 13 consecutive wins over league opponents. The Hurricanes now return home to the BankUnited Center where they own a perfect 14-0 record on the campaign.
Shane Larkin did all he could to push the Hurricanes past Duke as he went 8- of-16 from the field to tally 25 points, four rebounds and four assists. Kenny Kadji added a double-double of 17 points and 10 boards, while Trey McKinney Jones and Durand Scott added 12 points apiece. Reggie Johnson had trouble with the Blue Devils' Miles Plumlee and was held scoreless in 17 minutes of action. Miami was caught off guard by the triumphant return of Dukes' Ryan Kelly, who poured in 36 points on 10-of-14 shooting from the floor after being sidelined since Jan. 8. Despite the loss, it is hard to dismiss all the Hurricanes have done this season as they have outscored their opposition by an average of 9.4 ppg en route to their impressive resume.