The eighth-seeded Miami Hurricanes begin play in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament at 3 p.m. Thursday against No. 1 seed North Carolina.
Regardless of how they do against the fifth-ranked Tar Heels (47-8, 21-7), the Canes (35-21, 14-16 ACC) will play No. 4 seed N.C. State (42-13, 19-10) at 11 a.m. Friday, and No.5 seed Clemson (39-17, 18-12) at 3 p.m. Saturday.
The round-robin tournament started Wednesday at Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, N.C. Each team plays one game through Saturday against each of the other three opponents in its pool. The two teams with the best records in their pools play each other for the league championship at 1 p.m. Sunday.
Miami is ranked 20th nationally in Rating Percentage Index, which should be good enough to earn what would be its national-record 41st consecutive berth in the NCAA tournament. But the Hurricanes, who put in a bid to host a regional, are not expected to be chosen as one of 16 regional hosts.
UM coach Jim Morris insists there’s still an opportunity for UM to host if it wins the ACC tournament. Last year the Canes finished the regular season 34-21, then went 2-2 in the ACC tourney before being chosen as an NCAA host site.
“We’ve probably got to win the tournament or at least win two games to have a chance to host,” Morris said.