Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 2/5/13
Reggie Johnson was serious in October when he said the only reason the media ignored his basketball team was because of the name on the front of their jerseys. The senior forward said that if Miami had "North Carolina or Duke on the front" they'd be picked to finish atop the ACC. "We have that kind of team," he said. He was right. Before Super Bowl Sunday, Miami already owned a victory at UNC and a 27-point win at home over the Blue Devils. On Saturday, the Hurricanes put another notch in their belts by knocking off another traditional ACC program along the almost-religious trail of Tobacco Road when Johnson tipped in a teammates' missed runner with .8 seconds left to beat then-No. 19 North Carolina State before nearly 20,000 boisterous fans. Miami didn't beat Duke or UNC with the tip-in, but NC State's history is quite rich and its home atmosphere wreaks of ACC hoops. This was yet another infusion of ACC DNA into the Miami program's veins. "I told our players after the game there was no sense of me even trying to give instructions because no one could hear me, even in timeouts," Miami coach Jim Larranaga said, clearly heaping praise on the NCSU crowd. "It was almost impossible to talk to the guys and get them to understand what I was thinking." The victory moved Miami to 17-3 overall, 8-0 in the ACC and a No. 8 national ranking. It had never been 6-0 in any conference before, so this team is already one for the ages in Coral Gables. But its potential could present a final nesting place somewhere more significant than Miami's annals. The Hurricanes have national potential. They are veteran, which everyone not living under a rock already knows. They are talented with at least two future NBA players in senior forward and leading scorer Kenny Kadji and sophomore point guard Shane Larkin, the son of Hall of Fame baseball player Barry Larkin. Miami has role players who've embraced their assignments, a tough New York guard who gives them a needed jagged edge, and a personality whose fundamental skills and deceptive athleticism are as impressive as his smile and ability to add levity to a moment in need. And running things is a coach who led George Mason to the Final Four in 2006 before mid-majors had become a semi-regular on college hoops' biggest stage. Larranaga led a team that finished third in the Colonial Athletic Association to wins over Michigan State, North Carolina and top overall seed Connecticut to get to the Final Four before falling to eventual national champion Florida. But other than UNC's Roy Williams and Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, Larranaga is the only ACC coach to have taken a team to the national semifinals. He knows what he's doing, and the 63-year-old Bronx native has his team's respect. "We're experienced and have a lot of seniors, so we're more understanding, we can listen and grasp exactly what he's telling us to do," senior guard Durand Scott said. "It's our second year under coach Larranaga's belt, so we just go out there and try to execute to the best of our ability, to exactly what he draws up on the board and tells us. And when you do that the only thing you can do is get great results." The Hurricanes just missed out on the NCAA Tournament a year ago, finishing 20-13 overall and 9-7 in the ACC. Had Johnson not missed some time with an injury, it's likely the Canes would have had the NCAA experience. A victory at Duke was one of their more notable wins. So this club is hungry, and as mostly seniors, they have a lot to prove and also experience. There's no next year for most of them. This is their time to shine. Yet, they are simply enjoying the ride. After all, their jerseys do read "Miami" on the front, so they aren't exactly trying to live up to ghosts of the past. "No pressure on us," sixth-year senior center Julian Gamble said. "We're having as much fun as possible. We know teams are going to gun at us and play their absolute best every night." Just like how Miami has gunned at UNC and Duke for so many years. Now the shoes are on the other foot, just like Johnson wanted and pretty much predicted.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Kevin Love hurts shoulder after Kent Bazemore lands on it

Trump picks up endorsement from Lou Holtz, Gene Keady

Did Lakers commit tampering violation with Magic’s tweets?

Larry Bird, Pacers don’t sound committed to Frank Vogel

Justin Verlander, Kate Upton are engaged


Josh Norman: Odell Beckham Jr. ‘trying to steal my bologna’

JJ Hardy reportedly out 6-8 weeks with fractured left foot

Title game hero Kris Jenkins returning to Villanova

University of Illinois is finally ready to find a new mascot

Luke Walton: D’Angelo Russell ‘can be a perennial All-Star’

Myles Jack: Fall out of first round was ‘humiliating’

WATCH: Billy Donovan plays dumb about SAS-OKC final play

Some questions about Space Jam 2 that need answers

Durant talks about getting name-drop on Drake's album

Hulk Hogan suing Gawker for leaking tape of racist rant

Randy Johnson to have street at Chase Field named after him

Five bizarre moments in Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

Barry Trotz is disappointed with Brooks Orpik suspension

Lou Lamoriello hopes the Leafs never get the first pick again

Questions for the second-round NBA playoffs series

Softball team loses title due to premature celebration

After avoiding losing, the Raptors can focus on winning

How the Sharks have 'weathered the storm' against the Predators

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five bizarre moments in Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

How the Sharks have 'weathered the storm' against the Predators

Okay, who stole the Kansas City Royals player off that billboard?

Eight players to watch in Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs

A Round-By-Round Look At the NFL Draft

10 biggest takeaways from the NBA playoffs thus far

QUIZ: Name every No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft since 1985

NHL postseason Round 2 quick hits: Sharks vs. Predators

NHL postseason Round 2 quick hits: Blues vs. Stars

NHL postseason Round 2 quick hits: Capitals vs. Penguins

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker