UNC vs. Miami: Preview, game info, prediction and more


UNC hosts Miami on Tuesday night in the Dean Dome as it’s senior night for the Tar Heels

Tuesday night will not only be the second-to-last game of the Atlantic Coast Conference season for the North Carolina Tar Heels. But it will also be Senior Night.

The regular season finale will see the Tar Heels hosting the Miami Hurricanes, as ACC Tournament seeding is on the line.

Following the game, the Tar Heels will honor their seniors and the annual senior speeches will take place. It will be a very emotional night as Theo Pinson, Joel Berry, Aaron Rohlman and Kane Ma will be honored.

For Berry and Pinson, it’s the last time they will start in front of their home fans in a place they’ve played the last four seasons at. They were part of UNC’s 2014 recruiting class, which is considered one of the best in the Roy Williams’ era.

Ma joined the UNC varsity roster after playing for JV the past three years. He received the call-up in December and the Greensboro native has seen playing time this year.

Rohlman was able to walk-on to the 2016-17 Tar Heels team after earning a spot during preseason tryouts. Months later he found himself a national champion with the Tar Heels.

The Gastonia native has appeared in 15 games this year, playing a season-high four minutes against Western Carolina.

Per tradition, the seniors will start tonight’s game along with either Luke Maye or Cameron Johnson.

But before the ceremony happens, UNC has an important game.

They can’t look ahead to Saturday’s showdown with rival Duke as the Hurricanes are no pushovers.

Miami enters the game at 20-8 overall and 9-7 in conference play. They sit sixth in the conference, tied with Virginia Tech and Louisville. A double-bye is still possible for the Hurricanes but they would need to win out in their final two games.

The Hurricanes have won two-straight after losing three-straight games. But those two wins came over Notre Dame by three points and Boston College by one point.

The two teams are shooting 46 percent from the field but UNC averages nine more points than the Hurricanes. Miami does average less on the defensive end, giving up just 66.8 points per game compared to UNC’s 73.4.

Meanwhile, UNC enters the game on a six-game win streak and are playing their best basketball of the season. The Tar Heels are coming off a win over Syracuse in which they held on in the final seconds on the road.

For UNC, they really can’t overlook Miami and let their emotions get the best of them.

One Miami player to watch..

If it wasn’t for freshman Lonnie Walker IV, the Hurricanes would be entering this game fresh off a loss to Boston College.

Walker IV hit a three-pointer with 2.3 seconds left that completed a 14-point comeback for the Hurricanes on Saturday. It just might be the boost they needed heading into March.

The five-star recruit was the 14th-ranked player in the nation and the big piece in Miami’s recruiting class. He’s averaging 11.5 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game this season, putting together an impressive freshman campaign.

He’s shooting 35.8 percent from the three-point line and gives the Hurricanes a solid option in the backcourt.

One UNC player to watch..

For this game, we are picking two. And we are picking the two seniors.

The spotlight will be on both Berry and Pinson throughout the game to see how they perform in their finale at the Dean Dome.

Both are playing very good basketball entering this game. Pinson has elevated his game over the past few weeks and scored a career-high 23 points in the win over Syracuse. That performance came after he scored 19 points, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out five assists in a win over Louisville.

The point guard Berry hasn’t shot the ball extremely well of late but has been getting it done still.

He scored 23 against Louisville to lead the Tar Heels and then followed it up with an 18-point performance against Syracuse.

The duo closes out their home legacy on Tuesday night. Let’s hope it’s a special one.

Key to the game..


The Tar Heels are among the best teams in the country in controlling the glass, averaging 43.1 rebounds per game this season. Miami is averaging just 35.3 rebounds per game this year.

This is an area where UNC can really do their damage.

The Hurricanes leading rebounder is Brown Jr., a guard who averages 7.1 rebounds per game, but he’s missed the last eight games with a leg injury.

After that it’s Anthony Lawrence II averaging 6.8 rebounds and Dewan Huell who averages 6.7 rebounds per game. UNC should be able to control the offensive and defensive glass, which will lead to more possessions and hopefully more points.

What you need to know…

What? Miami 20-8 (9-7 ACC) vs. UNC 22-7 (11-5 ACC)
When? Tuesday, February 27th at 9:00 p.m. ET
Where? Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina
TV? ESPN (Rece Davis and Jay Bilas)
Radio? Tar Heels Sports Network
Line? UNC -11.5
All-time series? UNC leads 21-7..
Prediction? UNC 76, Miami 73