Forecasters who have Miami perched on the NCAA tournament bubble would be smart to give the Hurricanes a second glance.
Despite playing without injured point guard Angel Rodriguez, the ’Canes got 20 points from Manu Lecomte and used torrid 3-point marksmanship to hammer Virginia Tech 82-61 on Saturday.
Ivan Cruz Uceda came off the bench to add 18 points, as Miami (20-11, 10-8 ACC) hit 15 3-pointers in reaching the 20-win mark for the third time in four seasons. The ’Canes closed the regular season by winning three of their final four and six of their final nine games.
Miami, which won its fifth conference road game, now gears up for the ACC tournament, looking to enhance its prospects of getting an NCAA tournament berth.
“All we can do is continue to play and hope, expect and count on the committee to understand that the ACC is a challenging league,” Miami coach Jim Larranaga said. “We’ve won a lot of road games in this conference. Overall our strength of schedule is very good.
“We’re a very good team. If we get invited, we’ve got a chance to do very, very well.”
Miami never trailed in blasting the Hokies (10-21, 2-16), losers of their final seven regular-season games. The ’Canes dominated the last 15 minutes of the first half to pull away, using separate runs of 10-0 and 13-0 to lead by as many as 29 points.
No. 12 Notre Dame 81, Clemson 67: Jerian Grant had 19 points and eight assists, Zach Auguste added 19 points and No. 12 Notre Dame shot 55 percent as the Fighting Irish cruised to victory.
Jaron Blossomgame kept Clemson in the game for a while, scoring the first seven points and 13 of the Tigers’ first 17. But Blossomgame added just nine more points the rest of the way after Steve Vasturia started defending him, finishing with 22 points.
Auguste scored five points during a 7-0 run late in the first half to open an 11-point lead and the Irish hit three 3-pointers early in the second half and used a 10-3 spurt to go ahead 55-38.
Notre Dame (26-5, 14-4 ACC) finished with the most regular-season victories in school history. Clemson (16-14, 8-10) lost for the sixth time in its past eight games.
Florida State 61, Pittsburgh 52: The emotion of senior day inspired Kiel Turpin, and his teammates made sure his final home game was a victory.
Turpin made an emotional speech Friday night in front of the team and then followed it up with one of his best games as he scored 10 points and pulled down five rebounds as FSU (16-15, 8-10 ACC) halted a three-game losing streak by beating Pittsburgh.
“This was really an effort inspired by him,” FSU coach Leonard Hamilton said. “(Friday) night when we had our team meeting, he asked the players to play for him and his family. He’s had an up and down career with injuries but he’s been a class act. He’s very well respected by his teammates; he’s an unselfish guy.”
Xavier Rathan-Mayes scored 19 points on 5-of-8 shooting for Florida State, which finished the regular season above .500.
Turpin shot 5 of 6 from the floor and had two blocks, swatting away his second one with 12 seconds left. Hamilton quickly called a timeout to allow Turpin to walk off the floor to a standing ovation.