The Canes Storm The Cougars 89-75, Advance To Second Straight Elite Eight

Mar 25, 2023 - 2:28 AM
NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament Midwest Regional-<a href=Miami (FL) vs Houston" src="" />
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

What a day. First, the Lady Canes reach their first Elite Eight ever. Then, the guys smoke #1 seed Houston on their way to their second Elite Eight appearance in a row. Coach L’s squad is a matchup problem and has to be taken seriously for this year’s NCAA Tournament title.

The Miami Hurricanes whooped the Houston Cougars in tonight’s Sweet Sixteen matchup in Kansas City, MO, 89-75. Nijel Pack led the Canes with 26 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists. Isaiah Wong chipped in 20 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists. Norchad Omier had another double-double, with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Jarace Walker led the Cougars with 16 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 blocks.

Miami advances to the Elite Eight to face the winner of #2 seed Texas vs #3 seed Xavier on Sunday.

Below are some random thoughts from tonight’s game.

Nijel, sweet Nijel

With the game in hand during the last minute, announcer Grant Hill said he thought Miami won the game on Pack’s three three-pointers sandwiched around an Omier layup early in the second half. I think Hill was right, and all-time announcer Bill Raftery agreed. Pack pushed the lead to nine points with his last three, then Jordan Miller hit one to extend it to 12 points. That was about as close as Houston got the rest of the way. They simply couldn’t put together multiple stops to slow the Canes’ scoring. Pack’s bombs gave Miami the cushion they needed. If you want to know how Nijel Pack saved Miami’s season against Drake, check it out.

Offense wins?

The knock against Miami before the tournament was that they wouldn’t be able to get enough stops. The game can slow down during the NCAA Tournament. They gave up some high-scoring games to inferior competition this season. I get all of that. What those outsiders don’t understand is that the Canes are going to get to 78 points at a minimum. Yeah, they stumbled against Drake and scored a season-low in a game where they couldn’t make a shot for long stretches of game time. Fine. They won. Since then, Miami has put up 85 and 89 points as underdogs against two higher-seeded teams. Houston gives up less than 60 points per game this season. Let that number sink in for a second. Texas or Xavier is going to have to have a good to great offensive game to win on Sunday. The Canes are that good on offense.

Omier the beast

I’ve already had an ‘Omier the monster’ heading; had to switch it up. The Nicaraguan Nightmare was a force underneath the basket tonight. He fought like hell for rebounds on offense and defense. He was also getting absolutely mauled by Houston, especially during the first half. I didn’t see Norchad complaining much to the refs. I freaking love that. He just kept fighting and grabbing boards. Omier has been everything Coach L and his teammates could’ve hoped for during these first three NCAA Tournament games.

Who do you want Miami to play next: Texas or Xavier? Let us know in the comments below.


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