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Canes need more than two wins to go dancing

Frank Haith's basketball team has one of best NCAA Tournament bubble resumes is the country, one that features a strong strength of schedule, no bad losses (teams ranked higher than 100 in the RPI) and four wins vs. Top 50 RPI teams. But UM is still probably going to need to do more than just beat Georgia Tech and N.C. State this week to guarantee themselves a shot at getting back to the NCAA Tournament.

The Canes (17-10, 6-8) are more than likely going to have to win a game or two next week at the ACC Tournament to play their way in. OR, they must get some help this week from other teams to move up the final regular season standings and strengthen their case before the selection committee announces the 65-team field on March 15th.

Frank Haith As it stands, the Canes have no choice but to win out to even stay in the bubble discussion. The dilemma facing the Canes, however, is if they do win and get back to 8-8 in conference play, there are still eight teams who could finish in front of them in the ACC standings. And each can present strong cases of their own to get asked to the dance before Miami. By all accounts (including those from ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi), it's highly doubtful the selection committee would stretch beyond taking eight teams from the ACC -- even if it is considered the No. 1 RPI conference in the country. That means a first round loss in Atlanta by Miami -- even after four straight wins to finish the regular season -- would likely spell doom for its NCAA Tournament hopes.

So what does that mean UM can do to avoid going into next week's ACC tournament still in complete must-win mode? Climbing the final regular season standings, which UM can do. But as it stands right now, unless others lose, UM will finish ninth.

Mathematically, there is no chance for UM climb past North Carolina (11-3), Duke (10-4), Wake Forest (9-5), Florida State (9-5) or even Clemson (8-6). But according to the ACC tiebreakers (which take into account head-to-head meetings and group record before going to the best win scenario), UM could still catch and pass Boston College (8-6), Maryland (7-7) and Virginia Tech (7-7) in the standings this week. They're just going to need help.

While there are several scenarios in which UM could finish as high as a sixth seed (including if BC, UM, VT, Maryland all finish 8-8), most of the head-to-head tiebreakers don't go in UM's favor. So, the best thing to do if you bleed orange and green is root for the Terps, Hokies and Eagles to lose their final remaining games. Here is a guide to help you keep track of the season-ending madness, which should answer some questions you might have this week. 

> Boston College (20-9, 8-6): The Eagles could still soar as high as the fourth seed because the own the tiebreaker with FSU and turn out to be an RPI boom for UM, which beat them twice. But BC could also help UM out by losing twice and moving out of UM's way. Remaining schedule: @N.C. State (Wed), GT (Sat). 

> Maryland (18-10, 7-7): The Terps split the season series with UM, but own the individual tiebreaker (their best win came versus North Carolina). Still, if they drop their final two games and slip past UM in the standings they'll likely play their way out of the tournament and help UM's chances significantly. Remaining schedule: Wake Forest (Tue), @Virginia (Sat). 

> Virginia Tech (17-11, 7-7): The Hokies own the head-to-head tiebreaker against UM because of their overtime win at the BUC back in January. But they've got the toughest schedule to close out the season and are the most likely team of the three in front of UM to slip past the Canes. Remaining schedule: North Carolina (Wed), @FSU (Sun).

Comments

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1st

Nice breakdown Manny. The boys at ESPN couldn't have done it any better.

let's just beat GT and NC State first...Not a guarantee by any means with this team.

Go Canes!

When's football start again?////////

joe lunardi was 100% right last year and he has us in right now at 6-8.

HM, why u gotta hate on BB team ? Either BC,VT, or MD have or all of thm have to blow it. Come on guys just win these last two and we're in!!!!GO CANES!!

This team is too inconsistent to worry about what happens if they win out. We should all be more worried about GT tomorrow night. I hope the team is. If they did win out though, they need to win one in the ACC tourney no matter if they are 6th or 9th seed. Because no matter what their seed they will be playing one of these teams in a virtual elimination game in Atlanta. 8 plays 9 and 7 plays 10 in the first round. Miami will definitely be playing VT, BC, or MD in the first round.

Let's go Canes just win out! Don't worry about the teams you don't play...

Nice break down, Manny, but I agree with EZ on this one. One at a time! Go Canes!

I don't agree with this article.

I'm paying attention to the U...ITS BAD

hey buddy, watch some football then say who is clueless, last time i checked in 08 the Canes landed the #1 recruiting class in America, we got our foundation for the future in that class. Randy Shannon and many former Canes and other sports people have said the same things, so who know more about the canes, and building depth and reloaded, Randy Shannon or you?

I pretty much put you in your place right there, because you do not hear RS or former Canes saying what you are saying, you are just a hater. A true Cane would never say the stuff you are doing, you are a BAND WAGON CANE, yeah we seem to get those every year when we are on a hot streak, come talk to me when you are a true cane.

Keep your head in the sand Hassan.

.500 is on the way.

New OC

New DC

Horribly inept HC

Keep dreaming fool

any practice reports?

UM cant dance without RIOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!I said it once and I'll say it again like it or not.

BRYCE STILL PLANNING ON VISITING MIAMI?

Hey My Canes Brethren,

According to this article, Bryce's handler said yesterday that Bryce is still planning on visiting Miami. I thought we pulled out on Bryce? Any word Manny?

http://www.nola.com/timespic/stories/index.ssf?/base/sports-4/1236148253158690.xml&coll=1

Running back Bryce Brown Top prospect
still plans to visit Miami [] Wednesday, 03/04/09 By Mike StromStaff writer

Bryce Brown of Wichita, Kan., has delayed a scheduled trip to Miami, but the nation's top prospect still plans to make an unofficial visit to the school to which he committed, Brown's trainer and adviser said Tuesday.

A death in Brown's family necessitated the postponement of his trip to Miami, Brian Butler of potentialplayers.com said.

We need to root for VT and Maryland to lose, but not BC. BC is likely going to make the NCAAT anyway, so having them win would help build our resume even more since we beat them twice. If Maryland and VT screw up at the end and we take care of business, that would put us in 7th place. Let's take care of the Jackets tonight. Go Canes!

I disagree with Manny. Luginbill and others (ok its ESPN), but they are usually pretty good in picking the tournament field have UM IN as of their previous victory (that put them at 16-10). They are 17-10 now. They have beaten BC twice and Maryland once. they beat Wake, Florida State once, and Kentucky. They lost close games against NC and Duke. This compares favorably with ANY team. They have the 9th strongest schedule in the country.
So, if they win out, and finish with 19 wins, they will likely be in. Unfortunately, if they make the ACC tournament, and lose their first game badly, as this schizophrenic team just may do, they'll be on the outs.

Let's see what happens.

If the ESPN 360 schedule I saw was right the UM basketball game is not televised anywhere.

I just thought I would let everyone know that it is on the ACC.com website. You'll want to click on the ACCSelect link on the left side of the screen than scroll down to the schedule to watch the game.

Did anyone else see Denis Clemente ballin for K-State last night on ESPN 2. Funny thing to see cause we dont have a true Point Guard on this team. Clemente is averaging 15.5 pts a game, tied a Big 12 record with 44 points in a game earlier this year and has 93 assists on the season. The coach and players call him the unquestioned leader of the team, and very lucky to have him. Yet Haith discards him, turns his back on him and it's coming back to bite us now. There's no question that this team would have at least 4 more victories with a true PG, that right now is playing awesome for another team that probably has a better chance of making it to the tournament than we do.

New OC ( give that minimum 6 games to get on the same page)

New DC ( what will Melon Head do with this rag tag bunch?)

Clueless HC ( no words needed)

Players just don't "develop" like they used to at U

Oklahoma Sooners hang 50 on U

.500 and another embarrassing bowl

We's: Go ----- (rhymes with duck) thy self.

UF wont know wat to do when they lose gayturd tebow. just wait 2010 National Championship

Go Canes!

cubancane, how can you be so short sighted?

one of the reasons why clemente is playing so well is that he finally got his act together. when in miami he was acting like a clown (a la rios). sometimes it takes a swift kick in the pants for people to get their sh*t together. unfortunately for the canes, clemente didn't get his act together until after his time here...quite possible, as a result of the kick that haith given. i don't blame haith at all for that.

Just win tonight, baby

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