Originally posted on Fox Sports Carolinas  |  Last updated 2/5/12
DURHAM, N.C. --- Miami waltzed into Cameron Indoor Stadium on Sunday afternoon intent on picking up a victory that can change the trajectory of its season. Mission accomplished. The Hurricanes are now officially in the NCAA Tournament discussion after a 78-74 overtime win at Duke courtesy of very good defense and the play of burley big man Reggie Johnson, who finished with 27 points and 12 rebounds, eight on the offensive end. The Hurricanes improved to 14-7 overall and 5-3 in the ACC while the Blue Devils dropped to 19-4 and 6-2. Here are both teams' grades for their performances: Miami offense: Somehow, the Hurricanes were able to overcome poor shot selection for much of the game, in part because they crushed it on the offensive glass. Miami made just 41.8 percent of its shots, but it had success around the rim and cleaned up the offensive glass, giving it 22 additional points. Grade: B-. Duke offense: Good shots were hard to come by for much of the game, but it didn't help that Duke attempted plenty of ill-advised shots in the first half, either. However, Duke (38.2 percent from the floor) made a run in the second half getting a bevy of good looks on the perimeter, plus Seth Curry got hot, significantly helping matters. But some poor late possessions, especially when Quinn Cook tried doing too much, and lousy free throw shooting (13-for-22) did them in. Grade: F. Miami defense: As disjointed as Duke was for whatever reasons, credit Miami with taking the Blue Devils out of many sets and forcing them to try to manufacture plays, which isn't their strength, aside from Austin Rivers. Duke made just 38.2 percent of its field goal attempts and assisted on just 12 of its 26 baskets. Grade: B. Duke defense: The Blue Devils had toughness issues, which isn't good for an unusually mediocre defensive Duke team, thus enabling Miami to own a 16-point lead several minutes into the second half. If not for such questionable shot selection, Miami could have won this game going away. Don't take Duke's defensive numbers literally, the Canes (41.8 percent from the floor, 30.4 on 3s) helped out a lot. Grade: D. Miami intangibles: Miami came in believing it could win and would win by maintaining its focus during Duke runs. The Canes battled hard under the glass (48-43 advantage, including grabbing 20 offensive boards), did a terrific job of taking Duke out of its sets, and fended off Duke runs with hustle plays. Also credit the Canes for not panicking when Duke caught them. Grade: A. Duke intangibles: Miami big man Reggie Johnson beating every Blue Devil down the floor several minutes into the second half is the moment that stands out most regarding Duke's lack of focus and intensity. The Devils admitted they are taking playing at home for granted and it showed. Duke didn't look like the Duke program that has placed so many banners in the rafters, and their coach was quite upset with the team's effort. Duke's lack of passion was a real surprise. Grade: F.
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