Miami basketball: Virginia Tech preview, ratings, odds, how to watch, bracketology update

Ja'Quan Newton dribbles against Notre Dame. (Getty Images)

Ja’Quan Newton is one of three seniors Miami will honor Saturday. (Getty Images)

Records: Virginia Tech (21-9, 10-7); Miami (21-8, 10-7 ACC)

When: noon, Saturday.

Where: Watsco Center, Coral Gables (capacity: 7,972).

Line: Miami by 3.

Standings: As of Friday, Miami (10-7) was tied with Virginia Tech and North Carolina State for fifth place in the ACC. Ahead of that pack: first-place Virginia (16-1), second-place Duke (12-5), and third-place Clemson and UNC (both 11-6).

What’s at stake: Mostly, seeding in the ACC Tournament, which begins Tuesday at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

The first four seeds receive a double bye, beginning play Thursday. The fifth through ninth seeds start on Wednesday. Tuesday’s action features 10th- through 15th-place teams.

If Miami beats Virginia Tech, it will be seeded between third and fifth. If it loses, it will be either sixth or seventh. All of that depends on other Saturday ACC games.

A full breakdown of seeding possibilities for the Hurricanes:

No. 3: Miami wins AND Clemson loses AND North Carolina loses AND North Carolina State wins

No. 4: Miami wins AND Clemson loses AND North Carolina loses AND North Carolina State loses

No. 4: Miami wins AND Clemson wins AND North Carolina loses

No. 5: Miami loses AND North Carolina wins

No. 6: Miami loses AND North Carolina State loses

No. 7: Miami loses AND North Carolina State wins

Projection: ESPN’s BPI projects Miami as having a 65.5 percent chance to beat Virginia Tech.

TV: ESPN2. Mike Corey (play-by-play) and Tim Welsh (analyst) will call the game.

Online: ESPN3.com and the WatchESPN app. Must be an ESPN subscriber to access the stream (which is subject to blackout).

Radio: Joe Zagacki will call the game for WQAM 560-AM. It’s also on Sirius 81/XM 81 (Internet 81).

Last time out: Both teams are coming off last-second upsets of Tobacco Road bluebloods. On Monday, Virginia Tech shocked No. 5 Duke in Blacksburg on a putback with four seconds left. The following night, Ja’Quan Newton’s buzzer-beater from 40 feet lifted UM to a win at No. 9 North Carolina. 

Series: Miami, which won 84-75 in Blacksburg on Feb. 3, leads the series 21-14. UM is 10-4 at home.

Rankings: Virginia Tech received two votes in the Associated Press poll, finishing 36th, and 12 votes in the coaches’ poll (30th). Miami received no votes in the AP poll and six in the coaches poll (37th).

Ratings: Virginia Tech is 33rd in KenPom.com’s efficiency ratings (33rd offense, 53rd defense). Miami is 35th (47th offense, 41st defense).

Bracketology: CBS Sports bracketologist Jerry Palm has Miami as a No. 7 seed (and starting off against Oklahoma in Charlotte). ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has Miami as a No. 7 seed (and opening against Alabama in Detroit). Sports Illustrated has Miami as a No. 8 seed. The Athletic has Miami as a No. 9 seed (starting against Seton Hall in Wichita). SB Nation has Miami has a No. 6 seed. On Feb. 20, the Washington Post pegged Miami as a No. 11 seed (and one of the last four in, starting against N.C. State in Dayton). On Feb. 8, USA today projected Miami as a No. 7 seed (opening against Kansas State in Nashville).

Twitter: Follow Miami beat writer Matt Porter @mattyports. The official team accounts are @CanesHoops and @HokiesMBB.

Facebook: Visit the Post’s Hurricanes page, Post on Miami Hurricanes, for news, analysis, photos and videos in your Facebook feed.

VIRGINIA TECH

5 — Justin Robinson, G, Jr., 6-1, 180

4 — Nickeil Alexander-Walker, G, Fr., 6-5, 210

13 — Devin Wilson, G, Sr., 6-4, 195

10 — Justin Bibbs, G, Sr., 6-5, 220

24 — Kerry Blackshear Jr., F, Jr., 6-10, 260

MIAMI

0 — Ja’Quan Newton, G, Sr., 6-3, 191

4 – Lonnie Walker IV, G, Fr., 6-5, 204

3 – Anthony Lawrence II, F, Jr., 6-7, 210

20 – Dewan Huell, F, Soph., 6-11, 236

15 — Ebuka Izundu, C, Jr., 6-10, 235

Players to watch

Mike Robinson, Miami

A walk-on and one of three seniors on the Hurricanes’ roster, the 5-foot-10, 170-pound New Britain, Conn. native has appeared in 23 games and scored 18 points, sinking five 3-pointers. He is a former team manager and is known as a handshake specialist.

Chris Stowell, Miami

The 6-6, 208-pound walk-on has played in 24 games, and like Robinson has five appearances this season. He has not scored but has grabbed six rebounds and blocked a shot. The Exeter, N.H. native has maintained a 4.0 GPA and has accepted a post-college positon with Citi in New York City.

Ja’Quan Newton, Miami

The only scholarship senior on UM’s roster, Newton will also be honored on Miami’s senior day. A Philadelphia prep star who graduated as the all-time leading scorer in the city’s Catholic league, he has scored 1,115 points and needs six to pass Sheldon Mac (formerly McClellan), and 10 to pass Rion Brown on Miami’s career scoring list. He is 23 points from passing Constantin Popa for 28th place. With 304 assists, Newton is nine assists from passing Steven Edwards (312) for ninth place. He is one of five Hurricanes with more than 1,110 points and 300 assists.

Newton’s most recent points came against North Carolina, when his 40-footer sank UNC. He scored Miami’s final seven points and finished with 15.

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