Jim Larranaga makes history with Miami basketball win over Iowa State

Mar 25, 2022; Chicago, IL, USA; Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 25, 2022; Chicago, IL, USA; Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /

The victory by the Miami basketball team over Iowa State in the Midwest Regional semifinal on Friday night at the United Center in Chicago made Jim Larranaga the first head coach to reach the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament as a double-digit seed with two different programs. Larranaga led George Mason to the 2006 Final Four.

Miami has reached the Elite Eight as a 10 seed after wins over seventh seed USC in the first round, an upset over the Midwest number two Auburn in the second round last Sunday and the victory over 11th seeded Iowa State on Friday night. George Mason reached the 2006 Final Four as an 11 seed.

The Patriots advanced with wins over sixth seed Michigan State, three seed and 12th ranked nationally North Carolina, East Regional seventh-seed Wichita State in the Sweet 16 and top-seeded UConn in the Regional Final at what was then known as the Verizon Center about 21 miles from George Mason’s campus.

George Mason won its four games to get to 2006 Final Four by an average of 6.25 points per game. Miami has won its first three games in the 2022 NCAA Tournament by an average of 11.33 PPG. After defeating USC by two in the first round, Miami beat Auburn by 18 and Iowa State by 14 to reach its first Elite Eight.

George Mason finished the 2005-06 season 15-3 in the Colonial Athletic Association and as the conference co-champions with UNC-Wilmington. The Patriots victories over Michigan State and North Carolina came against two programs who were in the Final Four the previous season. UNC was the defending National Champions.

The second round victory for Miami over Auburn was against the 2022 Southeastern Conference Champions. George Mason upset over top seeded UConn was against a team that had four first round 2006 NBA Draft picks. Miami had a similar task in the second round against Auburn and projected lottery pick Jabari Smith.

Next. Miami basketball advances to first Elite Eight. dark

Auburn center Walker Kessler is another potential first round pick this year. Kansas guard Ochai Agbaji is another potential first-round pick. Sixteen years after an improbable run, Laranaga is making history again with Miami on an improbable run. Larranaga is proving he is an elite coach at preparing game plans on short notice.