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Comeback Effort Falls Short as Wake Forest Loses to Miami 72-74

Deacs come up short

NCAA Basketball: ACC Conference Tournament Quarterfinals - Miami vs Wake Forest Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Wake Forest’s final chance at making the NCAA Tournament was ended today as Miami knocked the Deacs out of the ACC Tournament 74-72. Wake fought back from 18 points down in the second half and had a chance to win the game on a half court shot from Daivien Williamson, but the magic wouldn’t strike for the second straight day.

This one was a much lower scoring game than when these two teams met in the regular season. The Deacs did a much better job on the defensive end, but Miami is still the 1 seed for a reason. Jordan Miller and ACC player of the year Isaiah Wong are both really talented players that are capable of scoring no matter how good the defense is, and their ability to penetrate off the dribble led to a lot of open shots for the Canes. Miller and Wong finished with 18 and 17 points respectively.

The Deacs also had trouble matching up with Miami forward Norchad Omier. When Wake tried Marsh, Omier went out on the perimeter and took advantage of his superior quickness. When the Deacs went small and used Carr, Omier went inside and overpowered him. He’s just a tough matchup for Wake and finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Wake got down by as many as 18 points in the second half, but fought like crazy to get back in the game. Tyree Appleby scored 15 of his 24 points in the second half while Hildreth and Williamson scored 10 and 11 points in the half to lead to comeback.

Unfortunately, the comeback came up just short and Wake lost by 2 points. You love to see the fight from the team to come back from 18 points in around 8 minutes, but it is a little frustrating for Wake to battle all the way back and lose the game because they missed 7 of their 14 free throw attempts. Free throws have cost Wake a few times this year and it hurt them again today.

At 19-14, Wake is definitely eligible for the NIT and will probably get an at large bid. I know the NIT doesn’t exactly excite anyone, but it will give the team more time to play together and more experience playing against good teams, so there is still value in accepting an invite. All we can do now is wait and see this weekend whether or not the season continues.

Go Deacs!