@CanesHoops came into Brooklyn with a first round bye and the 9th seed despite finishing the regular season tied for the 4th best record in the ACC (tiebreakers dropped Miami to 9). Their first opponent was 8th seeded Syracuse who dominated Miami at the Carrier Dome in January in a game that saw senior Davon Reed and Junior Ja’Quan Newton held to 5 for 23 shooting and a 39% shooting percentage for the team.
Today the Canes “elders” of Reed, Newton and Brooklyn native Kamari Murphy stepped up “BIGLY” combining for 16 of 33 from the field including a layup late in the game to help seal Miami’s 62-57 win over Syracuse. Newton who looked like he was still in a post-suspension funk the final two games of the regular season played more like the highly regarded player he had been. All three scored in double digits, with Murphy leading the team at 16 points.
Coach Larrañaga told Newton in front of the team postgame: “if we had to do one thing, it was slow John Gillon down and you did!” Coach L later told the media, “My coaching staff and I had basically determined that if John Gillon has a big night, so does Syracuse, and that it was a challenge for Ja’Quan Newton to guard him, I thought he did an amazing job. I thought it was a good team defense, but it really started with Ja’Quan and how hard he played and how often he kept him out of the three-second lane.”
If the Canes hope to not only win games in the NCAA mIf the Canes hope to not only win games in the NCAA tourney but also repeat their winning performance against top-seeded North Carolina they will need their upperclassmen to deliver again tomorrow at noon.