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How Sweet it is: Miami Basketball Beats Wichita State 65-57

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Jim Rogash/Getty Images

March Madness can be like navigating a mine field for teams looking to make deep runs in The Tourney.

Today, UM faced an experienced and mentally tough foe.

And Wichita State proved to be all of the above and then some.

But the Miami Hurricanes are pretty darn good themselves.

Angel Rodriguez was huge early and late, scoring 28 points and Sheldon McClellan chipped in 18 as UM survived a valiant WSU comeback to advance to the Sweet 16 65-57.

The 'Canes got off to a very strong start, behind 7 quick points for Rodriguez.

Rodriguez twice got to the hoop with crafty moves.   He was just getting started.

Meanwhile the Hurricanes D was forcing Wichita into late in the shot clock, contested attempts.

Tonye Jekiri and Kamari Murphy were intimidating WSU on the inside, and Davon Reed and McClellan were  all over their perimeter players.

Miami was flat out smothering the Shockers, and two more run out lay ins by Angel swelled the lead to 18-4 9 minutes in.

Another Rodriguez three gave him 16 of the team's first 25 as the Hurricanes were pouring it on.

Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet finally got a pair of baskets to spark a 11-0 run to cut it to 27-17 at the 4 minute mark.

The teams held serve over the remainder of the half, and UM took a 32-19 lead to the intermission.

The 'Canes were 60% from the floor (12-20) in the opening 20, but 9 Shockers offensive rebounds kept them in it.

Coach L and company were probably wishing they had put Wichita away while they had the chance.

In the opening moments of the second stanza, UM did look strong.

McClellan launched and connected a long three, and the lead was as much as 16.

But the Shockers started creating offense off sloppy ball handling by the Hurricanes, and they cut the lead down to 9 off a steal and triple by VanVleet and a Shaquille Morris jumper.

Things were getting tense.

UM kept turning the ball over, and suddenly it was a 3 point game after another lay up by VanVleet and a dunk by Morris.

The Shockers came all the way back to take the lead on a Baker three with 10 to go, their first lead of the game capping an 11-0 run.

Miami could have easily folded.

But UM took it right back, following a ridiculous block by Murphy that led to an alley hoop to McClellan.

McClellan nailed a triple a few possessions later, and converted a steal into a FT make it 52-45 with 6 to go.

Baker answered with a three, but Reed made a huge block and a three of his own to push it back to 7.

Both teams were stepping up down the stretch.

It was just a two point advantage when AR kissed one high off the glass to make it 57-53 with under 2 to go.

A great effort by Jekiri on the glass got UM the ball back, and Rodriguez nailed a three to make it 7.

From there, Miami was finally, finally in control.

It wasn't exactly a masterpiece from start to finish.

But this time of year, all that matters is the end result.

The 'Canes March on!!

Next Up: Miami takes on the winner of Iowa - Villanova for a shot at the Elite 8.

Wichita St
STARTERS MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
S. MorrisF -- 6-12 0-0 0-0 3 3 6 0 2 0 2 4 12
Z. BrownF -- 1-3 1-2 0-0 1 2 3 0 0 0 0 3 3
F. VanVleetG -- 4-12 1-6 3-4 3 2 5 5 4 0 4 2 12
E. WesselG -- 1-3 0-2 0-0 1 2 3 0 0 0 0 1 2
R. BakerG -- 4-12 3-7 0-0 0 2 2 2 2 0 4 3 11
BENCH MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
R. KellyF -- 0-3 0-0 3-4 2 1 3 1 1 0 0 0 3
B. BarneyF -- ----- ----- ----- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
E. HamiltonF -- ----- ----- ----- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
M. McDuffieF -- 3-9 1-3 2-2 2 1 3 0 1 0 3 3 9
A. GradyF -- 1-3 0-1 1-2 2 3 5 0 0 0 0 2 3
R. NurgerC -- 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
B. WamukotaC -- ----- ----- ----- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
Z. BushG -- ----- ----- ----- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
C. FrankampG -- 0-2 0-1 2-2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
J. SimonG -- ----- ----- ----- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
P. AllenG -- ----- ----- ----- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
T. Taylor IIG -- ----- ----- ----- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
L. ShametG -- ----- ----- ----- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
TEAM 20-59 6-22 11-14 16 17 33 8 10 0 15 18 57
33.9% 27.3% 78.6%
Hide Bench
Miami

STARTERS MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
K. MurphyF -- 2-3 0-0 0-1 0 7 7 0 2 2 1 2 4
T. JekiriC -- 1-3 0-0 1-4 1 6 7 0 1 0 0 4 3
D. ReedG -- 3-4 2-2 2-2 0 4 4 1 1 1 4 1 10
A. RodriguezG -- 9-11 3-4 7-8 0 2 2 5 4 0 7 3 28
S. McClellanG -- 5-11 2-4 6-8 0 3 3 0 1 0 1 1 18
BENCH MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
I. Cruz UcedaF -- 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
C. StowellF -- ----- ----- ----- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
A. Lawrence Jr.F -- 0-2 0-1 0-0 1 1 2 0 1 1 1 2 0
E. IzunduC -- ----- ----- ----- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
R. MuhammadG -- ----- ----- ----- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
J. NewtonG -- 1-3 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 1 2
J. PalmerG -- ----- ----- ----- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
M. RobinsonG -- ----- ----- ----- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --
TEAM 21-38 7-12 16-23 2 24 26 7 10 4 16 15 65
55.3% 58.3% 69.6%