Woo! What a way to end the Elite Eight. Coach L is the man! The composure this team showed in the second half was incredible. They kept playing as a team and came through in the clutch, just like they’ve done all season.
The Miami Hurricanes topped Texas Longhorns tonight in the NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional Final in Kansas City, MO, 88-81. Jordan Miller led the Canes with 27 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists. Wooga Poplar chipped in 16 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists. Isaiah Wong scored 14 points, with 12 coming in the second half. Marcus Carr led the Longhorns with 17 points and 6 assists.
Miami will play the UConn Huskies in Houston, TX on Saturday, 4/1. Tip-off will be around 8:50 PM EST on CBS.
Below are some random thoughts from tonight’s game.
Jordan Miller aka Mr. Perfect
Miami’s talented do-it-all wing won the game tonight with his offensive performance. Miller finished 7-7 from the field and 13-13 from the free-throw line. He played a team-high 39 minutes. No surprise there. He kept the game close in the first half with his 13 points and 2 assists. He then helped seal the victory with a steal, defensive rebound, and four made free-throws in the final two minutes. You could see the determination in Miller’s eyes all night long. He wanted it so bad. He wanted that Final Four birth. What a leader.
Jordan Miller is the 1st player with 27 points on 100% FG and 100% FT in an NCAA Tournament game since Christian Laettner in the 1992 Elite 8 against Kentucky, when he hit “The Shot." pic.twitter.com/VMa4ndwEha— CBS Sports College Basketball (@CBSSportsCBB) March 26, 2023
Three-point shooting was overrated tonight
Texas was on fire from deep in the first half, shooting 7-13 from three-point range. Miami was only 2-3. The Longhorns finished 10-25 from three for the game, a respectable 40%. The Canes finished 2-8. Yikes, right? Nah. Not for this team. Miami took the game to the basket and to the free-throw line. The Canes shot 28-32 from the charity stripe, making 17 more than their BIG XII foe. That was the difference and made up for the long-range shooting disparity. Miami shot 29-49 from the field tonight, 59.2%. They shot 27-41 from two-point range, 65.8%. Yet again, the Canes’ efficient offense won them the game, despite a great shooting effort from their opponent.
THE ‘CANES ARE IN THE FINAL FOUR! pic.twitter.com/23DroSYOXM— GO ‘CANES! (@83_87_89_91_01) March 26, 2023
Nijel had a good, but not great scoring game tonight with his 15 points on 6-12 shooting, 1-4 from three-point range. I did love his aggressiveness and willingness to go to the basket, especially in the second half. He missed a couple layups, but he kept his foot on the gas. Watching from afar, I think it helped push his teammates to attack as well. There wasn’t a lot of settling for shots in the second half. The Canes took it to the basket, made some nice midrange jumpers, and shot a bunch of free-throws. Old school efficient offensive basketball. I loved it.
I could keep writing and writing about this game with how pumped I am. Enjoy your Sunday evening. The Miami Hurricanes are going to the Final Four!