University of Miami

UM and UCF renew home-and-home series, but it isn’t quite what football fans wanted

Canes head coach Jim Larrañaga: “Lykes is very competitive”

Miami Hurricanes head coach Jim Larrañaga talks to the media after their 78-70 win over Bethune-Cookman Wildcats in an NCAA college basketball game at the Watsco Center in Coral Gables on Saturday, November 17, 2018.
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Miami Hurricanes head coach Jim Larrañaga talks to the media after their 78-70 win over Bethune-Cookman Wildcats in an NCAA college basketball game at the Watsco Center in Coral Gables on Saturday, November 17, 2018.

Finally, the University of Miami and University of Central Florida have agreed to play each other in a home-and-home series. But it isn’t quite what Hurricanes and Knights football fans have been craving.

With UCF in the national championship conversation the past two years and the renewal of the UM vs. University of Florida series, football fans were hoping the Canes and Knights would play for football bragging rights.

Not yet. But they will battle on the basketball court.

Eager to strengthen its nonconference schedule and increase exposure in other parts of the state, the UM men’s basketball program will play a home-and-home series against UCF starting in the 2019-20 season.

The first game will be at UCF’s Addition Financial Arena on Nov. 12. The date of the Coral Gables game has not yet been announced. It will be the first time the teams play since 2013. UCF has won two of the past three times they played.

Central Florida’s program has raised its status under coach Johnny Dawkins, the former Duke star. The Knights are coming off their best season in program history. They went 24-9, earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament, won their first-round game over VCU and nearly upset heavily-favored Duke in the second round.

The Hurricanes have played in 10 NCAA Tournaments and advanced to the Sweet 16 three times, but did not make the tournament last season. Miami went 14-18, and is looking to rebuild and get back to the post-season.

UM opens its regular-season schedule on Tuesday, Nov. 5, against conference opponent Louisville at home at the Watsco Center. The game will be televised by the ACC Network, which launches in August.

Other early games of note include a first ever trip to the University of Illinois on Monday, Dec. 2, as part of the annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge, and a Dec. 17 road game against Temple in the inaugural Air Force Reserve Basketball Hall of Fame Invitational at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The one-day tripleheader also will feature Providence vs. Florida and Iona vs. Princeton.

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