No. 7 Illinois (23-12) vs No. 2 Miami (28-6)
Sunday, March 24, 7:40 p.m. CT - Austin, Texas - Erwin Center (16,292)
TBS: Announcers - Tim Brando, Mike Gminski and Otis Livingston
Notes (from Miami sports information):
Canes Advance to Round of 32: With the 78-49 win over Pacific, Miami recorded its first NCAA tournament victory since a 78-64 win over Saint Mary's in the 2008 NCAA tournament. The Canes advance to the Round of 32 for the fourth time in the NCAA tournament modern era (1999, 2000, 2008, 2013). UM improved to 5-6 all-time in seven NCAA tournament appearances. Miami is now 2-0 against the No. 15 seed with wins over Lafayette (1999) and Pacific (2013).
Scott, Larkin, Johnson Lead Balanced Attack: Senior Durand Scott led the Canes with 21 points, Reggie Johnson grabbed 10 rebounds and Shane Larkin posted nine assists against Pacific, as UM was balanced in the second-round victory. All nine Canes who played more than five minutes scored at least five points and grabbed at least two rebounds. Five players recorded a steal and four had an assist. UM hit 85.7 percent from the free throw line with seven players hitting a free shot. Five guys hit a three-pointer in the game, as well.
Canes in the Postseason:In four postseason games, Shane Larkin, Durand Scott and Trey McKinney Jones are all averaging 10+ points, have hit 10 3-pointers and are shooting better than 80 percent at the line. Larkin is averaging 20.3 ppg, 6.0 apg, 4.5 rpg and 2.5 spg, hitting 47.2 percent FG and 91.3 percent FT. He has hit 21-straight free throws, dating back to the game against NC State on March 16. Scott has scored 17.0 ppg in four postseason games, hitting 10-19 (52.6%) from distance, 53.5 percent FG and 92.3 percent FT. He has notched 32 points (vs. NC State) and 21 points (vs. Pacific). McKinney Jones is 10-20 from three, averaging 10.8 ppg, along with 4.0 rpg. He's hitting 83.3 percent at the line and 43.8 percent from the field.
Larkin A Cousy, Naismith & Wooden Finalist: Shane Larkin is a Bob Cousy Award finalist, listing the sophomore as one of the top five point guards in the nation. Out of the five finalists (Marcus Smart, Matthew Dellavedova, Michael Carter-Williams and Trey Burke) Larkin is the only player to win the regular season conference title, the conference tournament title and conference tournament MVP honors. Larkin was added to the Naismith watch list in late February, placing him in the top 30 players in the country and is on the John R. Wooden Award Ballot, made up of 15 student-athletes who are eligible for college basketball's most prestigious honor.
• Miami is 4-2 in neutral site games this season with three wins at the ACC Tournament and a pair of losses at the Hawai'ian Airlines Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu.
• Miami is one of 23 schools to send both the men's and women's basketball teams to the dance this season. The Miami women earned a No. 8 seed and will face No. 9 Iowa in Iowa City on Sunday, March 24. Both UM teams also played in the tournament at the same time in 1998.
• In Miami's last tournament appearance, Jack McClinton posted a UM single-game NCAA tournament record 38 points, hitting 12-of-19 shots against St. Mary's on March 21, 2008 in the first round.
• Julian Gamble and Kenny Kadji have both been to the NCAA tournament, both as redshirts in 2008; Gamble with Miami and Kadji with Florida.
• These are UM's first games played west of the Mississippi River, on the continental U.S., in Coach L's two seasons at The U. This season the farthest west was in Ft. Myers, Fla. and last year was the game at Ole Miss. The Canes did play in Hawai'i this season.
• Coach Larrañaga is 6-5 overall in the NCAA Tournament.
• Miami is the first team in ACC history to win regular season and postseason and not get a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Championship.
• Miami is the only non-North Carolina team to win both the ACC regular-season and tournament since Georgia Tech in 1985. Their regular season was shared; no other non-North Carolina team has won outright.
Shane Larkin: G, Soph., 5-11, 176 - 14.4 ppg, 4.6 apg, 3.9 rpg
Durand Scott: G, Sr., 6-5, 203 - 13.5 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 2.5 apg
Kenny Kadji: F, Sr., 6-11, 242 - 13.1 ppg, 6.9 rpg
Trey McKinney Jones: G, Sr., 6-5, 220 - 9.4 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.6 apg
Julian Gamble: C, Sr., 6-10, 250 - 6.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg
Off the bench:
Illinois defeated the Hurricanes in the only meeting between the two schools, 86-76 Dec. 28, 1969 in Florida.
Forward Kenny Kadji: "It means a lot. But we know that it's just another game. We have to play against Illinois and they're a pretty good team. We don't want to look ahead of them. Making it to the Sweet 16 would be great but we got a battle in front of us."
Center Julian Gamble: "They're a very good 3-point shooting team. That's one of their strengths. Along with that, they have a lot of experience. They have a lot of seniors and red shirt juniors and they have very good coach as well. They're very battle tested. Playing in a league like the Big-10, they have been battle tested every night. So we don't expect for them to be intimidated at all. We know we have a target on our back and we know we have to play have to go out there and play our best basketball."
Coach Jim Larranage on Illinois: "Well I think the first thing is the confidence they show in their 3-point shooting ability. Because it's very easy for a 3-point shooter to get discourages if he misses a couple and quits shooting. But I believe their confidence kept them shooting the ball and eventually they went back and hit a number of key 3-pointers. And I think that when you are committed to that style, it gives your players a lot of freedom and you've got to play great defense for the entire game, because at any time you let up, they could drain four or five threes in a row."
Miami team information: