Busting Brackets

Miami at Virginia: 2023-24 college basketball game preview, TV schedule

The red-hot Virginia Cavaliers welcome Miami to town for a crucial bubble matchup as they look to extend their current home winning streak to 22 games.
Jake Groves, Isaac McKneely, Virginia Basketball
Jake Groves, Isaac McKneely, Virginia Basketball / Ryan M. Kelly/GettyImages

The red-hot Virginia Cavaliers welcome Miami to town for a crucial bubble matchup as they look to extend their current home winning streak to 22 games.

TV schedule: Monday, February 5, 7:00 pm ET. ESPN

Arena: John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Virginia

Charlottesville will play host to a crucial ACC matchup on Monday night between Virginia and Miami, both of whom currently find themselves right in the heart of the NCAA tournament bubble. Most bracket projections currently have Miami on the outside looking in - while Virginia finds itself as one of the last teams in or first teams out. This matchup presents both sides with the opportunity for a quality win that could just help them find themselves in the field of 68 come Selection Sunday.

There's a little more at stake for both sides, as Virginia enters this matchup on a 22-game home winning streak, one that dates back to December of 2022 and is currently the longest active streak of any team in the country. Virginia's dominance in John Paul Jones arena will make Miami's task even harder, but a victory for Miami would become even more valuable and be a key signature win that would bolster their resume.

Both the 'Hoos and 'Canes spent much of January trying to stabilize their wobbly seasons, one which saw both teams sitting below .500 in ACC play at one point or another. Virginia started ACC play with a 2-3 record, with all three losses being blowouts on the road to Notre Dame, NC State, and Wake Forest. Despite the early struggles to begin conference play, Virginia has found some stability and they currently find themselves on a 6-game winning streak to that has given them a 17-5 overall record and an 8-3 record in ACC play - good enough for 2nd place in the conference. Virginia's most recent outing saw then earn a huge quad 1 road win at Clemson with a final score of 66-65. The win helped the Cavaliers significantly improve their position in tournament bubble and will likely prove to be vital come March.

Several incoming transfers, including Jordan Minor and Jacob Groves, have made significant improvements in recent weeks and have played a huge role in the Cavaliers' recent winning streak. With a tougher slate of games on the horizon, these two could be the pieces that sway some of these games in favor of the Cavs.

For Miami, three wins in their last four games following a 3-4 start to conference play have moved the Hurricanes to 15-7 overall and 6-5 in ACC play. Miami's most recent outing saw them defeat Virginia Tech in an 82-74 comeback victory after trailing by 9 at halftime. Despite their recent hot streak, Miami still finds themselves on the outside looking in when it comes to the tournament bubble. With a resume that includes home losses to both Louisville and Florida State, Miami will need to pick up some big wins down the stretch to get back on the right side of the bubble, and Monday's quad 1 matchup in Charlottesville would be an ideal place to start.

Big Man Norchad Omier leads Miami in both scoring and rebounding, nearly averaging a double-double with 18 ppg and 9.8 rpg. However, the Hurricanes have three other players averaging double figures in scoring, with guards Matthew Cleveland, Nijel Pack, and Wooga Poplar all averaging between 14.9 and 14.2 points per game. With so many different scorers, Miami can be a tricky team to guard and can quickly erase a deficit, as seen in their most recent game versus Virginia Tech.

Low-scoring affairs have been the norm in games involving Virginia, and this game will likely follow that trend. Nonetheless, a lot will be at stake for both sides, and it will likely be an electric atmosphere in John Paul Jones Arena. Given what's at stake, expect a physical game with plenty of energy on both sides.

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This game will be close from start to finish but ultimately it will be Virginia defending their home court and extending their home winning streak to 23 games.

Prediction: Virginia 69. Miami 62