ACC Basketball Tournament Quarterfinal, Game 4 Running Diary: Miami/Notre Dame

FINAL Update 11:48 p.m.

Miami went on an untimely drought from the field to finish the game, failing to knock down a shot for more than six minutes. They were able to keep things close at the free throw line but the Canes fell just short in a 70-63 loss to Notre Dame. The Irish won despite not scoring a field goal for the first 11:57 of the second half and being outscored 38-27 in the half.

When things got close it wasn’t surprising that the Irish could close it out as they were 7-3 this season in games decided by five points or less. The loss likely knocks Miami out of the NCAA Tournament but it was an incredible effort in the second half to get there. Notre Dame advances to face Duke in the ACC Tournament semifinals. They split the regular season series winning by four points at home and losing by 30 at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Update 11:17 p.m.

  • Notre Dame isn’t moving the ball well now and they’re turning it over with frequency (7 TOs). Miami now earns their first lead with two free throws but the Irish snag it back with their first 3-pointer of the second half from Steve Vasturia.
  • The Irish are attacking the basket all of a sudden and having some success. Jerian Grant and Demitrius Jackson both initiated scoring plays and they need to continue to be aggressive to maintain a 54-51 lead.
  • Tonye Jekiri just picked up his fourth foul on a phantom call that was really caused by sweaty shoes. He came back to make two free throws however and the lead is 54-53…for about 25 seconds before an Irish fast break to push the lead back to three…Jekiri fouls out going over the back on a rebound. Miami down three with 3:26 remaining.


Update 11:06 p.m.

  • With three quick free throws Angel Rodriguez cuts the lead to 45-44.
  • Notre Dame goes small with the lineup in the hopes of finding something that works. V.J. Beachem makes two free throws, but Notre Dame still hasn’t scored a field goal in the second half and Cruz Uceda ties the game with a 3-pointer. First tie since 0-0.
  • The first Irish field goal finally drops from the hands of Jerian Grant just before the eight minute mark. 47-45 ND on top.


Update 10:56 p.m.

  • Miami gets a 3-pointer from Ivan Cruz Uceda and then the Irish foul Miami attempting another three on the next trip down. Notre Dame appears to have been visited by the Space Jam aliens at halftime because they’ve completely forgotten how to play basketball.
  • It’s a 13-1 Canes run and the lead is just six with three free throws coming up.
  • Davon Reed makes all three FTs and we’ve got a 44-41 Irish lead at the 11-minute mark.


Update 10:50 p.m.

  • Suddenly we need a different unrelated metaphor to describe Miami. We have liftoff!
  • A made 3-pointer by Angel Rodriguez puts him in double figures with 11 points and that briefly cut the lead to 10 points.
  • Pat Connaughton made four 3-pointers in the first half and has missed all four of his attempts in the second.
  • Miami has begun the second half on a 10-1 run and the Irish appear to be shellshocked. The lead is now only nine.


Update 10:43 p.m.

  • Miami has come out and quickly cut the lead to 13 points. The Irish have yet to score in the second half at the under 16 timeout.
  • The Canes still don’t have a scorer in double figures but the Irish only have one in the suddenly cool Pat Connaughton (14 points).
  • The teams are now even with five turnovers a piece after Miami forced a couple of quick ones. They need to continue to make stops if they intend to close the gap completely.


HALFTIME Update 10:24 p.m.

  • I haven’t seen any good tweets about this game, but in the Big East tourney the Butler mascot got sick and threw up on the floor. I thought it was a fitting metaphor for our match.
  • Notre Dame leads 43-25 at the half. They made nine 3-pointers in the first half while Miami made ten shots total and finished just 1-10 from three.
  • Oddly the games today haven’t been close and this is the third one where the halftime margin was at least 17 points.
  • Notre Dame’s assist to turnover ratio is four while Miami has just .3 to their credit.
  • One bright spot for the Canes is a 9-2 advantage in offensive rebounds. Tonye Jekiri is the main culprit with nine points and eight boards by himself, but Miami needs to take advantage of the second chances.
    Update 10:00 p.m.

    • Angel Rodriguez has eight points early and has been the only real highlight for the Canes. Reportedly, Miami plans to have him drive to the bucket tonight. He didn’t play well against the Hokies.
    • Notre Dame is passing the ball extremely well. They have an assist on 88.9% of their made shots to this point and they’re an exacting 6-of-7 from 3-point range.
    • Miami has no assists while the Irish have nine.
    • Pat Connaughton is 4-4 from three for a game-high 12 points. Irish lead 33-14 at the under 8 timeout.
    • The Irish have an offensive efficiency mark of 189.7. Miami is at 82.4


    Update 9:51 p.m.

    • Notre Dame has forced three Miami turnovers and they’re converting them into points on the other end stretching the lead to 15-4 prompting a Canes timeout just shy of the under 12 media timeout.
    • So far the Canes are turning it over on 27.3% of their possessions.
    • Miami is just as sluggish (maybe moreso) than in last night’s close call against Virginia Tech. They hardly look like a team facing a must win situation.
    • Notre Dame on the other hand has come out with fire and they look ready to knock the Canes out early.


    Update 9:43 p.m.

    • Notre Dame with outstanding ball movement, strong rebounding and good hustle on the opening possessions. 10-2 lead.
    • Miami on the other hand is stone cold to start things, 0-7 from the field to begin the game and now just 1-of-8 (12.5%).
    • The Irish are 4-7 (57.1%) and have made both of their 3-point attempts.

    Update 9:30 p.m.

    Balance was the word of the night for Duke in the third game of the day. The Blue Devils finished with five players scoring in double figures and didn’t have to work too hard in a 77-53 win over NC State. The Wolfpack will now hope they’ve done enough to impress the selection committee and hold their breath until Sunday night.

    Miami is in a similar predicament and really needs a win tonight against a strong Notre Dame team. The Irish aren’t without their own motivations. While their tournament selection isn’t at issue, they lost in the first round in their first ACC Tournament in 2014 and would like nothing more than to rectify that and play spoiler against the Hurricanes.

    -Justin Cates

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