DURHAM, N.C. -- I'm here for the showdown at Cameron Indoor Stadium where the Canes will try to chop of the second head of what Adrian Thomas referred to as the three-headed monster (a three-game stretch against Wake, Duke and Carolina).
UM coach Frank Haith has never won in this building. Obviously, never have the Canes. Duke is 13-0 here this year. They've won by an average of 20 points. This game is going to be awfully tough for UM to win. Clemson had a lot of success against Duke because of their full court press. We know Miami can't play that way. If Duke is on their game today shooting the ball, this one could be over quickly.
Miami won at home last year because they had an interior presence and because the Canes were red hot. UM shot 60 percent in the second half and 50 percent from three-point range in the game. They had a 30-point lead last year and still managed to only win by 1-point. Today, everything is going to have to be clicking for them to win again.
I'll check in at halftime and again once it's over to give you my thoughts. The game is on locally on WBFS-My 33. The radio broadcast is online at WQAM.com.
*** FIRST HALF THOUGHTS ***
> You couldn't have asked for a better first half if you wear green and orange. I thought on Wednesday Miami's zone defense caught a break because Wake Forest was "off." Not so much. Whatever Haith and his staff devised is working wonders. Duke was 6 of 31 in the first half. You could see their players just flat out frustrated and confused, not knowing what do with the ball when they had openings. Kyle Singler was 1 of 9 from the field.
> On the flip side, Miami wasn't spectacular on offense either. But the Canes were effective. Jack McClinton has 10 points. But I thought the real lifts came from Brian Asbury and James Dews, who combined for 14 points. Miami had nine turnovers at halftime. So, they are doing this -- holding a 32-19 lead -- despite still struggling to be safe with the basketball.
> If Miami can continue to play this way in the second half and hold on for the win, this would all but guarantee an NCAA Tournament bid. Big opportunity here.
*** POST GAME THOUGHTS ***
> It's hard to win in this building, much less a 16-point lead. The Hurricanes found out the hard way Saturday -- coming oh so close to a huge upset of Duke. Instead, they're going home wondering what could have been. What can you say about Jack McClinton? 34 points. So many big shots. Tough loss.