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2013 NCAA Tournament Preview: No. 7 Illinois vs. No. 2 Miami

Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

As expected, the No. 2 Miami Hurricanes are moving on to the third round and their opponent will be the No. 2 Illinois Fighting Illini. No. 15 Pacific was no match for the Hurricanes and Miami looked as good as ever.

Illinois was able to beat the No. 10 Colorado Buffaloes despite only making eight of 31 from behind the arc. Missing that many shots will not get the job done against Miami. However, if the Fighting Illini can sink threes, they will have no problem pulling off the upset.

Miami does have some pretty good scorers in its own right though.

What to Watch For

Brandon Paul managed to score 17 points in the second round, despite shooting 3-12 from the field. Paul and his three-point shooting ability will play a big part for Illinois in the next round.

Miami has three very talented players in Kenny Kadji, Shane Larkin and Durand Scott. Scott led the team in points in the second round, though, with 21. All three of these players will be very hard for the Fighting Illini to contain, but the same can be said about Paul and the rest of the streaky shooters on Illinois.

Prediction

Miami is a very well-rounded team, while Illinois relies way too much on its three-point shooting. Being able to hit threes is one thing, but when those shots aren’t going down, then what? Illinois dodged a bullet against Colorado, but the same will not happen against Miami. The Hurricanes are also a good shooting team, so this game very well could be a shootout if both teams are on.

Miami 73 Illinois 67

 

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