NCAA Basketball is getting closer and closer to its hot stage, March Madness, and one team is surging its way the headlines against all the odds. Miami Hurricanes, who is currently ranked second in Associated Press’ Top 25 poll, have managed to come atop in the Atlantic Coast Conference which is often dominated by perennial powerhouses Duke and North Carolina.
Three and a half games clear of the Blue Devils in the top spot with five conference games to go in the regular season, Hurricanes—13-0—are now looking to have the first seed in the ACC tournament for the first time in the team’s history since they joined the ranks of the Atlantic Coast Conference after leaving Big East in 2004.
For a team that has managed to make it to the NCAA tournament five times during its 27-year experience in Division I basketball, Hurricanes’ current stature definitely comes as a surprise and furthermore a shock as well as resulting in an overwhelming set up for the coach Jim Larranaga and his players.
And with a detailed NCAA investigation for “lack of institutional control” hanging over the Hurricanes’ heads, the success Larranaga’s team has had thus far seems even more impressive.
Larranaga, who took the team over from his predecessor Frank Haith in the summer of 2011 after Haith had spent seven successive seasons with the club while never once achieving a winning record in the ACC, is already on his way to completing his second consecutive winning season in the ACC after immediately improving the team to 9-7 in 2011-12.
After a successful but not attention worthy 2011-12 season, however, Larranaga and his team took things to a whole other level in 2013, as Miami stands with a 12-0 record in the ACC at the moment with an overall 1overall winning streak dating back to January 2nd. Led by seniors Durand Scott and Kenny Kadji and sophomore Shane Larkin on offense and a collective team effort on the defensive end of the game, Hurricanes are now looking to compete in the NCAA and make an impact while they have a chance.
South Carolina Gamecocks are the only team which completed an undefeated regular season in the history of ACC Basketball—a record set back in 1970. Hurricanes are going to play three of their five remaining games at home, but one of those road games, which is probably also the defining one, is set to put them against Mike Krzyzewski’s Blue Devils, on March 2nd.
When the time comes, odds are sure to be against Miami once again with the Blue Devils seeking to prevent a historic run from seeing its crucial milestone on their home court, but when it is the Hurricanes in question, it is better to stand back and just watch what Larranaga will pull out of his hat next.