It wasn't always pretty.
It definitely was not a game for the faint of heart.
And the ending was certainly not easy to watch for fans of either team.
But in the end it was good enough to keep one team's conference record remarkably unblemished at an absolutely perfectly 8-0.
Your University of Miami men's basketball team relied on the strong (pimp) hand of Reggie Johnson to tip in an errant shot by Shane Larkin for the winning basket to propel the Hurricanes to a 79-78 victory over Atlantic Coast Conference rival North Carolina State on Saturday.
UM head Coach Jim Larranaga and his tough and talented band a merry men clad in orange and green just refuse to lose. In a game that could have gone either way Coach Larranaga's Hurricanes found another way to win on the road in a hostile environment in front of over 19,000 screaming Wolfpack fans at PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC.
Johnson, who has not yet quite returned to top form since recently returning from a thumb injury, tipped in a missed shot with his left hand with less than one second to go to lift #14 ranked Miami edge #19 North Carolina State by one point in the hard fought and hotly contested ACC match-up.
The fortunate tip in and incredible turn of events capped a back-and-forth second half and kept the Hurricanes (17-3, 8-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) unbeaten in the league and sent the Wolfpack crowd home heart broken, empty handed and with their tail tucked firmly between their legs.
Johnson finished with 15 points in his best game since returning from the injury just four games ago but it was UM shooting guard Durand Scott led Miami with 18 points. Julian Gamble, who has to be considered as the comeback player of the year, added 16 points to help the Hurricanes win their ninth straight game.
The Hurricanes were only the ninth team to start 7-0 in ACC play since the 1996-97 season and first since Duke started 10-0 five years ago. Miami certainly earned its latest league win, fighting off a determined Wolfpack team that got strong performances from Purvis and fellow freshman Tyler Lewis in place of its missing floor leader.
On Larkin's last second shot the ball hit the right side of the rim and bounced off right to Johnson, who then calmly tipped the ball up and in to stun the home crowd. The huge crowd for the nationally televised (CBS) game and just as loud as the crowds for the Wolfpack's rivalry wins against Duke and North Carolina in the past few weeks. It was the first home loss in 13 games for the Wolfpack, the preseason ACC favorite.
With Miami now at 8 and Oh My! the UM basketball ticket has suddenly become the hottest ticket in town. That's right Miami Hurricane basketball is hotter than the Miami Heat, and that's saying something! So we strongly recommend that U go and get U some of the action by watching this team play live and in person.
Miami Hurricanes tickets can be purchased at CanesTix.com or by calling the BankUnited Center Ticket Office at 305.284.2263. The ticket office is open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.