Wahoos put nation’s longest home win streak on line vs. Miami

By Jerry Ratcliffe

Photo: University of Miami Athletics

The nation’s longest home winning streak will be on the line tonight when Miami visits Virginia at John Paul Jones Arena (7 p.m., ESPN).

Tony Bennett’s Cavaliers (17-5, 8-3 ACC) have won their last 22 in a row at “The Jack,” and have taken the last three home meetings against Jim Larrañaga’s Hurricanes (15-7, 6-5). UVA is a 5.5-point favorite, according to Vegas Insider.

Expect a close game between the two ACC foes. In fact, 14 of the last 16 games between UVA and Miami have been decided by 10 or less points.

The Cavaliers have won their last six games in a row, including Saturday’s one-point win at Clemson, which improved Virginia’s NET ranking from No. 47 in the country to No. 42. Beating the Tigers also put Virginia in second place in the ACC standings. Miami is seventh in the conference.

Tonight’s game is a short turnaround for both teams, but Larrañaga, who was once an assistant on the late Terry Holland’s Virginia staff, said he’s OK with the little prep time for a reason.

“The good part for us is that our preparation for Virginia Tech is very similar to our preparation for the University of Virginia,” Larrañaga said. “They both run that ‘pack’ defense and they both run a lot of motion-type offense.”

Larrañaga’s Hurricanes defeated Virginia Tech in Miami on Saturday, 82-74, giving Miami a season sweep over the Hokies. Miami’s NET ranking is No. 62, which puts the ‘Canes in Quad 2 for tonight. Even though Miami has a better record than Tech and beat the Hokies twice, Virginia Tech has a higher NET ranking at No. 53.