No. 16 Miami evades No. 25 Pitt, claims share of ACC title

Wooga Poplar scored 18 points and Norchad Omier had 15 points and 13 rebounds to lead No. 16 Miami to a thrilling 78-76 victory over No. 25 Pitt on Saturday night in Coral Gables, Fla.

The Hurricanes (24-6, 15-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) clinched a share of the ACC regular-season championship with Virginia, which also finished 15-5 in the conference. But Miami secured the top seed in next week’s ACC tournament by virtue of a head-to-head tiebreaker with the Cavaliers.

Miami secured its second ACC regular-season title and first since the 2012-13 season. The Hurricanes also won the conference tournament that season. It’s Miami’s third conference regular-season championship, having also won it during its time in the Big East Conference.

The Panthers (21-10, 14-6 ACC) ended the regular season with back-to-back losses.

For the second week in a row, a Hurricanes’ opponent had a chance to win the game with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer. But unlike last week — when Miami dropped a heartbreaker on such a shot to Florida State — the Hurricanes survived after a deep 3-point attempt by Pitt’s Blake Hinson bounced off the front of the rim.

Hinson hit an off-balance trey with 13 seconds left to cut Miami’s lead to 78-76.

Omier caught an inbounds pass and was fouled with 9.6 seconds left, but missed the front end of a one-and-one free-throw opportunity, allowing Pitt to have one final chance at the victory.

Hinson led the Panthers with a game-high 24 points and made 6 of 12 3-point attempts as Pitt made 11 triples overall.

The Hurricanes outrebounded the Panthers 42-20 and collected 14 offensive rebounds. Jordan Miller finished with 17 points and eight rebounds while shooting 8-for-8 from the free-throw line.

Nijel Pack returned to Miami’s starting lineup after missing the Hurricanes’ previous game against Florida State with a lower extremity injury. He finished with nine points, as did Isaiah Wong, who struggled from the field (1-for-9 shooting).

Nike Sibande finished with 16 points and five rebounds for Pitt, while Jamarius Burton added 13 points. Nelly Cummings had 10 points and six assists.

–Field Level Media

FLM Direct-Baller

Field Level Media was founded by sports media executives with more than 40 years of combined experience working with the most influential media companies in the industry.

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