Miami Hurricanes to Host Number 20 Notre Dame

The Miami Hurricanes will play their third ACC game this season when they host number 20 Notre Dame at the Watsco Center on Thursday.

Miami swept Notre Dame last season winning both games by a combined margin of 27 points. The Hurricanes return home after a week off. They last played January 4 in a 70-55 loss at Syracuse.

Notre Dame enters the Watsco Center with a 14-2 record and a five game winning streak. The Fighting Irish are 3-0 in ACC play after wins at Pittsburgh and at home over Louisville and Clemson.

Notre Dame’s two losses came back to back to previously ranked number one and defending National Champion Villanova and Intrastate rival Purdue on neutral courts.

The Fighting Irish is led by do everything Forward Bonzie Colson who leads a very balanced offense. Colson is averaging 16.4 points per game. 10.8 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.4 blocks. Steve Vasturia, V.J. Beachem and Matt Farrell average 15.0, 14.6 and 14.0 PPG respectively. No one else averages above six points per game.

Farrell runs the offense. He averages 5.4 assists per game, with an exceptional 2.25 assist to turnover ratio. The Irish lead the ACC in three-point percentage. They connect on 40.2 percent of their attempts. Six players shoot 36 percent or better from three.

The Hurricanes rank in the top 30 in three-point attempts allowed, made and three-point field goal percentage against. A lot of that  success came earlier in the season. They have struggled defending the three in six of their last seven games. The Hurricanes have allowed opponents to connect on 41 percent of their three-point attempts in that span.

Miami is 1-1 in the ACC after a conference opening win at home over North Carolina State and the loss at Syracuse. The Hurricanes offense continued to be inconsistent in the loss to the Orange. D.J. Vasiljevic was the only Hurricane in double figures with 18. All of his points came from beyond the arc.

The Hurricanes need to do a good job inside and keep the Irish off the free throw line. Notre Dame is first in the country in free throw percentage. They make 84 percent of their shots from the line.

Miami needs the frontline to step up against a Notre Dame team that relies on its perimeter outside of Colson. Dewan Huell, Kamari Murphy and Ebuka Izundu need limit Colson’s opportunities on the boards.

Colson gets almost a third of the Fighting Irish’s rebounds. The Hurricanes should have a huge advantage rebounding. They are also going to need to get some scoring inside to alleviate some of the pressure on the perimeter players.

Setting the Scene

Date: Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Watsco Center | Coral Gables, Fla.

RV Miami Hurricanes (11-3, 1-1 ACC)
Head Coach: Jim Larrañaga
Record at Miami: 129-60, sixth season
ACC Record at Miami: 55-35
Career Record: 599-394, 33rd season

#20 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (14-2, 3-0 ACC)
Head Coach: Mike Brey
Record at Notre Dame: 370-179, 17th season
Career Record: 469-231, 22nd season

Television: ESPN – Karl Ravech and Dick Vitale
Radio: 560 WQAM – Joe Zagacki
Sirius/XM/Internet – Channel 81
1040 Actualidad – Pepe “Chamby” Campos, Jose Martinez and Daniel Ramirez
90.5 WVUM Student Radio – Harry Kroll and Josh White
Online: Watch ESPN

Next Game:  Miami’s next travels to Pittsburgh for a Noon matinee with the Panthers. That is the first of three straight road games for Miami. They will return home to face Boston College on January 25. That is the first of three straight and four out of five games at home.

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