The last time these two teams met., Miami advanced to the Sweet 16 with a 63-59 win over the Illini in the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
That led to this raucous scene:
Well a lot has changed since then.
Still, both teams are coming in on a roll and undefeated so far this season, so this is a big game for SOS, RPI, and all that good stuff.
I don't expect any Ali's shuffles should the 'Canes win though.
Here is our full Q&A with Jim in preparation for the big game tomorrow:
SOTU: Illinois is off to a great start at 6-0, including wins over Indiana State and Baylor. What has been the key to their early success? In your opinion, is this an NCAA Tournament team?
SOTU: At 6'4 230 and leading the team with over 17 points and 7 boards a game, Rayvonte Rice looks more linebacker than 2 guard. How would you describe his game and how good is he?
SOTU: Which players on the Illini might UM fans not have heard of, that are making contributions?
SOTU: Much like UM's Jim Larranaga, UI Coach John Groce employs a lot of 4 guard looks. Is this because the Illini lack depth up front, or are they just guard heavy? What pace would Groce like to see this game played at?
SOTU: Which players and/or match-ups with Miami concern you if any?
SOTU: The last time these two teams met, the 'Canes defeated Illinois in the round of 32 in the 2013 NCAA Tournament. What do you remember most about that contest?
- Shake Larkin’s step-back three in the right corner. That was an absolute dagger. How did that shot go in? Do the Basketball gods hate us that much?
- The blown out-of-bounds call on our last possession. The ball went off of the Hurricanes under the basket and the officials weren’t able to review the play. I’m not saying Illinois would’ve scored, but Groce knows how to draw up a play—just ask Tom Crean and Indiana. That situation led to a rule change and officials are now able to review similar calls at the end of games.
- Groce’s postgame locker room speech. Picking up D.J. Richardson from the floor and consoling him, thanking the seniors for laying the foundation during his first year on the job, looking ahead to future—very emotional/inspiring stuff from him that day.
SOTU: Last but not least, how do you see this game playing out? Who wins and why? And how do you see the rest of the ACC/B1G Challenge playing out?
Duke over Wisconsin - I’m very high on Wisconsin, but Duke is just so, so talented.
Dec. 2, 2014 | 9 p.m.
BankUnited Center | Coral Gables, Fla.
Radio: 560 WQAM | WVUM 90.5