Wake beaten by buzzer twice in loss to Miami

The Demon Deacons now wait to see if they will receive an NIT bid

Wake Forest guard Cameron Hildreth and Miami guard Jordan Miller chase a loose ball during Miami’s ACC Tournament win Thursday in Greensboro. (Chuck Burton / AP Photo)

GREENSBORO — A day after Wake Forest beat the buzzer to advance in the ACC Tournament, the buzzer had its revenge, going 2-0 to send the Demon Deacons home.

Wake Forest’s Davien Williamson’s 3-point attempt at the final horn was just off the mark, and top-seeded Miami escaped with a 74-72 win over the Deacs in the ACC Tournament Quarterfinals in Greensboro.

Williamson hit a 3 with 0.5 seconds remaining 24 hours earlier to break a tie with Syracuse and give Wake the win. His last-ditch shot this time was from much farther out, as Wake scrambled down court following a missed Miami free throw that kept the lead at two. The shot appeared to be on line but bounced off iron to break the Demon Deacons’ hearts.

“Any time I shoot it, I expect it to go in,” said Williamson.

It was the second near miss of the day for Wake, as each half featured remarkably accurate desperation heaves. At the end of the first half, Cameron Hildreth let fly from beyond halfcourt and the ball swished through the net. Replay review showed that the ball was still in Hildreth’s hand as time expired, however, and the shot was waved off.

The ending to the first half seemed to sink the Deacs as Miami opened the second half with hot shooting and quickly built its five-point lead up to 13. The lead would grow to as much as 18, but Wake Forest never went away.

“We stayed positive the whole time,” said coach Steve Forbes. “You know, we just felt like we could string some stops together, we could score. I kept telling them, ‘If we get it under 10, we’ve got a shot.’ Then we got it to six, whatever, then we got it to the last media (tim out), and we’re like, ‘OK, we’ve just got to win this media and we win the game.’ … I’m sure Miami probably — sometimes that happens when you get the lead, you play to — maybe you slow down a little bit. You’re not trying to win the game — maybe you’re just trying to win the game and not score. I don’t know. I thought we did a good job guarding them. I thought we did a good job guarding them really the whole game in the half court.”

Wake point guard Tyree Appleby scored 15 of his game-high 24 points in the second half, hitting 4 of 9 from 3-point range after the break. Hildreth scored 10 of his 17 points in the second half, hitting both 3-point attempts in the 20-minute span. Williamson had 11 of his 14 during Wake’s late run.

“We had tremendous fight, resiliency and will to win,” said Forbes. “We never quit.”

Miami was led by 18 points from Jordan Miller and 17 from ACC Player of the Year Isaiah Wong. Both players also added five assists.

Now Wake waits to see if their season will be extended with an NIT bid.

“Hopefully, we’re not done playing,” said Forbes. “I’m not very confident in anything when it comes to postseason play where I sit. I don’t think we always get what we deserve. I always tell the players that you get what you deserve. In this game of basketball, what you put into it usually you get out of it, so I’m not — it doesn’t matter what I think.

“Unfortunately, what you do in the league really doesn’t have anything to do with postseason play or anything like that. It’s just metrics. So I don’t know what our metrics will look like today. … So I don’t know, you guys seen us play. I think we’re pretty good. … I wouldn’t want to play us.”