Forget the fact that it was their first game of the 2013 NCAA Tournament against a No. 15 seeded Pacific Tigers team–this year’s Miami Hurricanes squad is one team not to sleep on and Friday’s second-round game is the perfect example as to why.
The Hurricanes jumped out to an early lead and never looked back against the Tigers as they cruised for an impressive 78-49 win to advance to the third round for a matchup against the winner of the Colorado–Illinois game. While Durand Scott led the way for Miami with 21 points, Shane Larkin contributed 10 points to go along with nine assists as well against Pacific.
For an ACC Conference where many expected the Duke Blue Devils or the North Carolina Tar Heels to be the top teams, nobody gave Miami much of a chance at the beginning of the season, but winning the ACC Tournament Championship last week was a huge statement for this team heading into the big dance. Say what you want about the Hurricanes and their inexperience heading into the tournament–this team seems capable of making a run not just at the Final Four, but the National Championship–and their impressive wins during the regular season prove that.
This is the time of year where the unexpected always happens in the tournament and with most brackets seeing teams like Louisville, Indiana, and Kansas as the favorites, Miami may be one of the teams to keep an eye on over the next couple of weeks when it comes to making a serious run. It may sound crazy to see a team like the Hurricanes come out on top, but there’s a reason why they refer to this time of year as March Madness.
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