In what feels like the blink of an eye, we went through (technically) three rounds of the NCAA Tournament. Some separated themselves from the rest, like Florida and Arizona. The Miami Hurricanes should also be added to that list.
After an easy 78-49 victory over Pacific in the second round, the Canes were able to hang on in the final moments to beat Illinois, 63-59. Survive and advance is the motto of March Madness and The U is one team that is perfectly suited to do that.
Here are five reasons why Miami will make the Final Four.
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1. GUARD PLAY
While Michigan’s Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. have been acclaimed as the nation’s best backcourt, the Miami Hurricanes’ combo of Shane Larkin and Durand Scott make a close second. Miami had a spectacular season this year, but without healthy contributions from Larkin (14.5 points, 4.6 assists per game) and Scott (13.2 points, 3.9 rebounds per game), the U wouldn’t be where it’s at now.
Coming into the year, everyone knew they would have to slow down Scott. Scott has been a key piece to the ‘Canes success ever since he arrived in Coral Gables. A four-time All-ACC member, Scott proved year in and year out that he brought his New York City game down with him. Larkin, on the other hand, took the country by storm as a sophomore this season. He can get to the rim at will, set up teammates for easy baskets and has one of the sweetest jump shots in all of Florida — just ask Illinois.
As the season went on, the two developed quite the chemistry and cohesion with each other. When these two are at their best, Miami can compete with anyone.