Miami shares ACC title with UVa, earns top seed

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Miami coach Jim Larrañaga climbed the ladder, grabbed the last strand of net, ripped it off the rim and waved it in the air.

It took all 20 league games, going down to the final second, but his Hurricanes can call themselves Atlantic Coast Conference champions.

Wooga Poplar made a career-best six 3-pointers for 18 points, and 16th-ranked Miami captured the No. 1 seed for the ACC Tournament with a 78-76 win over No. 25 Pittsburgh on Saturday night.

“This was a nice celebration, it feels great — but we’re far from done,” Miami guard Jordan Miller said. “We have a lot bigger things planned ahead, and this was just a token for our hard work so far.”

Miami (24-6, 15-5 ACC) shares the regular-season title with Virginia, which clinched its half of the crown with a 75-60 win over Louisville earlier Saturday.

“We won the marathon,” Larrañaga said in the middle of the on-court party, the net sitting across his shoulders. “The ACC, it’s a marathon. And we won it.”

The Cavaliers also cut down the nets in Charlottesville after their game — but they’ll be the No. 2 seed for the conference tournament, behind a Hurricanes team that was picked fourth in the league’s preseason poll and beat Virginia in the teams’ only meeting.

This will be the sixth time the Cavaliers have finished with at least a share of the ACC title in 14 seasons under Tony Bennett.

After losing consecutive games at Boston College and North Carolina, the Cavaliers closed the regular season with home wins against Clemson and the Cardinals.

“I think the last two games were a step in the right direction,” Bennett said.

This is Miami’s first No. 1 seed for the ACC Tournament since 2013.

“The ACC Tournament has to be our next goal,” Larrañaga said. “We’ve got to get focused for that.”

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