GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Halftime thoughts from Miami 41, Wake Forest 27.
It’s a major upset on a paper -- the Hurricanes are the No. 12 seed in this tournament, and the Demon Deacons are No. 5. But you could see this coming. Wake has played terribly down the stretch before temporarily righting its ship in the regular-season final against Clemson. Now the Demon Deacons have reverted to dysfunctional and disinterested.
Telling moment of the half: Wake’s L.D. Williams forced a five-second call on Miami’s Durand Scott with the Deacons down 10. Williams turned to his teammates, yelled and clenched his fist. Their response? Nothing. Not a single player walked up to congratulate him on a defensive effort play.
Meanwhile, Miami is taking full advantage of this second chance at the season -- much the way Nebraska did Thursday in pasting Missouri in the Big 12 tournament. The Hurricanes passed the ball sharply for open shots -- and then made them (6 of 13 from 3-point range). They drove with verve and got to the foul line (8 of 13 free throws). They played defense (Wake shot just 31 percent for the half). They hit the glass (22-18 advantage on the glass). They played like they knew they had a chance to win and wanted to take advantage of that.
DeQuan Jones had 12 points for the Hurricanes, high scorer for the half. He’s averaging 5 points on the season and hasn’t scored in double figures since November. Nice time to show up and show off.