No. 5 Miami downs No. 2 Texas, advances to first Final Four


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jordan Miller had a perfect night, going 7-for-7 from the field and 13-for-13 from the free-throw line, to lift No. 5 seed Miami to an 88-81 victory over No. 2 seed Texas in the Midwest Region final.

Miami qualified for its first Final Four in program history, joining Florida Atlantic and San Diego State as teams making their debuts in 2023. The last time three teams made their Final Four debut in the same tournament was in 1970, when Jacksonville (with future NBA star Artis Gilmore), St. Bonaventure (with Bob Lanier) and New Mexico State (with Sam Lacey) debuted.

Texas (29-9) was trying to advance to its first Final Four since 2003. The Longhorns’ other two appearances were in 1943 and 1947.

Miami (29-7) also got 16 points from Wooga Poplar, 15 from Nijel Pack and 14 from Isaiah Wong.

Texas was led by Marcus Carr, who had 17 points. Timmy Allen added 16 and Sir’Jabari Rice had 15.

Miami cut the deficit to six points early in the second half, but Texas responded. The Longhorns led by as many as 13 before the second media timeout. Miami cut it to 67-58 inside the 10-minute mark. The Hurricanes wouldn’t go away, trimming it to 70-64. Wong’s baseline jumper at the 7:04 mark got Miami within 72-68.

Pack’s layup with 6:11 left trimmed Texas’ lead to two points. Norchad Omier’s dunk tied it with 5:26 remaining, and Omier sank a free throw for a three-point play that gave Miami its first lead since early in the first half.

Tyrese Hunter hit a 3-pointer to give the Longhorns the lead before Wong tied it again. The game was tied at 75-all at the final media timeout.

Two Miller free throws gave Miami the lead before Carr tied it with a jumper in the lane with 1:26 to go. Omier hit two free throws with 1:00 left, and then Wong hit two with 34.4 seconds left to put the Hurricanes up 83-79.

Miller rebounded a Texas miss and went to the line with 23 seconds left. He hit both free throws. Hunter’s layup with 17.8 seconds to play cut it to 85-81. Miller’s final two freebies stretched the lead to six points, and the Hurricanes held on from there.

Miami scored the first seven points of the game, but Texas tied it up 9-9. The teams traded leads throughout the rest of the half before Texas pulled away. The Longhorns went into the locker room with a 45-37 lead.

Texas was led by Allen and Carr, who had 10 points apiece. Brock Cunningham had seven points and six rebounds off the bench. Miami was led by Miller’s 13 points.

–David Smale, Field Level Media

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