No. 8 Miami vs. North Carolina final score: Hurricanes pound Tar Heels, 87-61

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

It's getting harder and harder to doubt these Hurricanes. Miami blew out North Carolina on Saturday afternoon, 87-61.

With every game, it seems more apparent that these Miami Hurricanes are very much real.

Still the only ACC team to be unbeaten in conference play this season, the Hurricanes defeated the North Carolina Tar Heels in impressive fashion, 87-61, on Saturday afternoon. Playing in front of a raucous home crowd that included Miami Heat stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, the Hurricanes provided quite the show.

After bursting out to a 9-0 lead in the first two-plus minutes of the game, it became immediately apparent that the Hurricanes were aiming for an effort similar to their 90-63 blowout of then-No. 1 Duke on Jan. 23. Miami didn't disappoint, never trailing in a dominant all-around effort.

The Tar Heels battled throughout the first half, still trailing by just nine points with four minutes left before halftime, but the wheels came off after that. Miami finished the half on a 14-6 run, then expanded that lead to as many as 26 points just five minutes into the second half.

UNC shot just 39 percent during the game, struggling to ever find a rhythm on offense. They took only six free throw attempts, too, making points hard to come by in a game when they were badly needed.

Red Hot Shooting

The shooting display by the Hurricanes on Saturday was downright impressive. Miami knocked down 53 percent of its shots from the field, 58 percent of its shots from beyond the arc and 83 percent of its shots from the free throw line. Even if the Hurricanes weren't playing great defense, which they were, Miami would've been tough to beat on this day.

Shane Larkin, the son of baseball Hall of Famer Barry Larkin, had a huge afternoon, knocking down five of seven attempts from three-point range en route to a game-leading 18 points. Kenny Kadji and Durand Scott were right behind him, adding three three-pointers and 17 points apiece.

While the Hurricanes' reserves weren't as prolific from the field, Miami's starters came out and set the tone with some hot hands. Those five players were a combined 24 of 41 (59 percent) from the field in the game.

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