How do you win 20 games in a season and not even get invited to the N.I.T. tournament? Easy. You play Miami’s pathetic schedule last season.
With four starters returning this season, the Hurricanes have a chance to surprise some people. The coaches have a duty to give them a schedule that will allow them to benefit when they win.
While I wouldn’t call Miami’s 2010-2011 schedule an elite schedule, but it’s certainly better than last year’s joke. They face 16 teams that tasted the post-season last year, including 10 that went dancing in the NCAA Tournament.
MIAMI’S 2010-2011 SCHEDULE
After opening up with Jacksonville on November 12, the Hurricanes man up and head up to north to take on Memphis. The Tigers are going to be young, but they’ll be talented. This is a tough road game for the Canes. Pull out a win here and Miami can quickly earn some respect.
Of course being on the road is a theme for Miami this year. Of their first six games this season, half are on the road. The two others are against Rutgers and Florida Gulf Coast.
At the end of November, Miami welcomes two solid foes. Ole Miss comes to South Beach first, followed by West Virginia five days later. While the Mountaineers are not the same team as last year’s Final Four team, you never underestimate a Bob Huggins team.
Miami will take on two home state “rivals” in Stetson and UCF. The Golden Knights can always be a pesky out. Next, they roll out west to Vegas to be in the Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic.
However, I’m not sure how much of a classic this will be. The tournament features Miami, Oral Roberts, Rice and Akron.
The ACC schedule kicks into gear quickly, as Miami will be the first ACC team to taste the defending champs.
While the Hurricanes will have to face Duke once, they only get one shot at North Carolina and Maryland. However, both will be at home. They will have to travel to Wake Forest and Virginia Tech, without getting a re-match at home.
I spot one rough patch in ACC play in late January. In one three-game stretch, they have to go to NC State, head home to face the Tar Heels, before heading up to visit Virginia Tech.