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Sports

Hurricanes hope to finish with a win

The Associated Press
Published:   |   Updated: March 14, 2013 at 02:07 AM

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DURHAM, N.C. -

It's another regular-season finale at Duke, which means this is the last game for a team that isn't going to a bowl.

Except that this time, it's Miami that will be home for the holidays.

The lousy-no-more Blue Devils are headed to the postseason.

Duke plays host to the Hurricanes today in a game that would have had huge implications in the ACC Coastal Division race, had the Blue Devils not lost last week and had Miami not withdrawn from bowl consideration.

So now, the only things on the line are the pursuit of a seventh win and a .500 finish in league play for Duke (6-5, 3-4). For the Hurricanes (6-5, 4-3), there's only pride and the chance to finish November with three wins in four games.

Still, Miami coach Al Golden says motivation shouldn't be a problem.

"At the end of the day, I don't think there is any question that we'll be defined by how we respond moving forward," Golden said. "We can make all the excuses that we want, but the reality is we're facing a very good team. A team that is obviously hungry, that is going to a bowl game and senior-laden or experienced-laden on senior day. Even despite this or regardless of this it was going to be a tough out, and we better get focused and ready to go."

The Hurricanes self-imposed a second straight postseason ban because of an NCAA investigation that is expected to eventually lead to stiff sanctions against them.

That move, announced Monday, gave the Coastal Division's berth in next week's ACC championship game to Georgia Tech — which handed the Blue Devils their third straight loss, a 42-24 defeat last week that eliminated them from title-game contention.

"The prospects of a seventh win, the prospects of then that allowing an eighth win if you accomplish that, is significant," Duke coach David Cutcliffe said. "The hurdle is Miami, an extremely talented football team that can ignite things offensively."

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