There was this one burst that sealed the historic evening for Miami Hurricanes males’s basketball.
Kameron McGusty muscled in a contested layup, lifting each fists to flex his biceps. Sam Waardenburg completed a steal with a slam dunk. Then suffocating protection on the the tip compelled an Iowa State turnover.
The Candy 16 was conquered.
The Hurricanes had been headed to the Elite Eight for the primary time in this system’s 60 seasons.
“Traditionally known as a football school,” McGusty famous, rightly. “Hopefully we can start getting more recognition.”
That is the best way. The one means in a saturated Miami sports activities market that worships winners and forgets the remaining.
The Canes’ T-shirt slogan this postseason is ‘More Is Possible.’
We’ll see, quick.
There was postgame celebration properly previous midnight within the east Saturday morning after the 70-56 dispatch of Iowa State. It was a meteorological marvel: Hurricanes beating Cyclones, led by a participant named McGusty (27 factors), within the Windy Metropolis, Chicago.
“Did I dance?” stated Coach Jim Larranaga, 72, of the joyous bedlam. “I believe I did one in all my dances from the ‘60s.”
The spigot shut off the celebrating fast, though.
‘More Is Possible,’ bear in mind?
Now the Canes face Kansas — the one one No. 1 seed nonetheless standing — within the Elite 8 at 2:20 p.m. Sunday in Chicago.
UM already as blinders-on for that.
However we will savor getting even this far only a bit extra.
The Canes have despatched 16 gamers to the NBA throughout the years. Three are within the league proper now. The best UM participant of all, Rick Barry, was a nationwide phenomenon within the mid-’60s, averaging 30 factors a recreation. Larranaga had ostensibly higher, higher-ranked Miami groups attain the Candy 16 twice earlier than, in 2013 and 16.
No earlier gamers or groups carried the Hurricanes this far. Lifted Miami this excessive.
And no one noticed this coming. Larranaga had toughed by means of three down seasons in a row, surrounded by a pandemic. His earlier three groups had a 39-51 mixed file. Final 12 months’s 10-17 mark was this system’s worst since 1994.
UM was predicted to complete twelfth of 15 within the Atlantic Coast Convention in a preseason ballot. Larranaga entered the season feeling some warmth for the primary time — earlier than this occurred, with the reward of a two-year contract extension.
“If we told you at the beginning of the season we were going to the Elite Eight everybody would laugh at us,’” McGusty stated. “Even three weeks into the season, everybody would look at us crazy. It’s amazing. It still feels unreal.”
Miami certainly isn’t the nationwide darling of this Elite Eight outdoors of Coral Gables and South Florida..
There may be the closest you get to an precise Cinderella within the No. 15 St. Peters Peacocks, lowest seed ever to get this far.
There may be mighty Kansas, representing Goliath because the final No. 1 standing.
In fact there’s Duke and retiring Coach Mike Krzyzewski, the beloved Coach Okay, all the way down to his final recreation (or two, or three).
However these Hurricanes — from 10-17 to the primary Elite Eight at school historical past — maintain their very own for one of many nice comeback seasons and accomplishments in Miami’s sports activities historical past.
It could be that if it ended proper right here, and certainly most everyone thinks it is going to now, with the pedigree of the No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks in the best way.
However isn’t this the great thing about March Insanity? No pre-written scripts right here. Who thought there is likely to be Peacocks strutting?
So possibly Larranaga has one other dance in him, let’s see.
Possibly these T-shirts are on to one thing.
‘More Is Possible.’
This story was initially printed March 26, 2022 9:32 AM.