There are 351 Division I teams, which means there are 351 Division I stories about the 2014-15 college basketball season. And the Miami story, it turns out, is pretty interesting.
In the early going this team was dropping bodies (sorry, I'm re-watching The Wire marathon style). They began the season smoking everyone they played. On December 2nd they were 8-0 with wins over Florida and Illinois. Nevermind that Florida and Illinois have since plummeted in the rankings - at the time those were big wins. And the Canes were doing it after losing five seniors from last year's squad. Transfers Angel Rodriguez (Kansas State) and Sheldon McClellan (Texas) looked like they might form one of the best back courts in the nation.
Then the Hurricanes lost at home to Green Bay. Then they lost at home to Eastern Kentucky - a middle of the road Ohio Valley team - by 28.
A few weeks later they were 1-1 in ACC play when they made a trip to Durham to face the Duke Blue Devils. But instead of taking their obligatory beating they won by 16, snapping Duke's 41 game home winning streak.
Eleven days later they won at Syracuse. They were rolling again. Then a 20 point loss, at home, to give Georgia Tech their first conference win.
Who are these guys?
In short, they're a high risk, high reward team. No team in the ACC scores a higher percentage of their points from beyond the arc than Miami. And no team in the ACC scores a fewer percentage of their points from inside the arc as Miami.
If they knock down a bunch of 3s, the Noles are going to get rolled. If the 3-point lottery doesn't fall in Miami's favor, the Noles have a good chance.
Back when Miami was killing everyone, junior point guard Angel Rodriguez was raining 3s. He made 18-37 (49%) to begin the year. Since then he's just 22-82 (27%). Since they beat Duke he's made 5-26 (19%) 3s.
His running mate, Sheldon McClellan, has made 7-29 (24%) in ACC play.
The third guard, sophomore Manu Lecomte, makes 44% of his 3s but has been in double figures just once in the past ten games.
The bright spot has been 7-foot junior Tonye Jekiri. In ACC play he's averaging 10.1 points and 12.0 rebounds. He's not blessed with a bunch of offensive moves, but he's a fantastic athlete who most teams would love to have in the middle.
These are the games that can be the most frustrating for fans. FSU is a low risk team. Only three teams in the nation score less with 3s than the Noles. You know what you're going to get.
So which Miami team shows up?
The game tips at 12:30 and will be broadcast on ESPNU. The Canes are favored by 2.