Both Miami basketball teams advance to Elite 8

Mar 24, 2023; Kansas City, MO, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 24, 2023; Kansas City, MO, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami women overcame a lost 21-point lead to regain the lead in the final minute and win 70-65 on Friday afternoon to advance to the Elite Eight for the first time in program history. The Miami men’s basketball team controlled most of the game with an 87-75 win over Houston. A great day for Miami basketball.

The Miami basketball team led almost the entire game versus Houston. With 8:15 remaining in the first half a Nijel Pack three-point shot gave Miami a 25-23 lead and the Hurricanes never trailed again. Miami stretched the lead to 42-36 at halftime. The Hurricanes scored the first five of the second half to go up 47-36.

Houston answered with a 13-4 run to cut the deficit to 51-49. That was as close as Houston would get. A 16-2 Miami run later in the second half gave Miami a 70-53 lead. Miami’s lead was never less than 12 the rest of the game. Pack led Miami with 26 points on 8-12 from the floor, 7-10 threes and 3-4 from the line.

All five Miami starters finished in double figures. Isaiah Wong added 20, Norchad Omier scored 12 with 13 rebounds, Jordan Miller had 13 points, six rebounds and four assists and Woogla Poplar finished with 11 points and four rebounds. The Miami basketball team finished with 16 assists on 31 made field goals.

Houston and Miami each recorded 35 rebounds. Miami made 51.7 of their field goal attempts and the Cougars shot just 37.5 from the floor. Miami made 11-25 from three led by Pack and held Houston to 9-31. For all the accolades for Miami offensively, the Hurricanes were great defensively versus Houston.

Miami will play the winner of Texas and Xavier on Sunday with the time to be announced. Miami and Xavier have never advanced to the Final Four. Texas has not been in a Final Four since 2003. Miami is the only program nationally to advance to the Elite Eight in each of the last two seasons.

The Miami women’s basketball team made the game a lot closer than it needed to be. After taking a 46-33 lead at halftime, the Hurricanes scored the first eight points of the second half to extend the lead to 54-33. The biggest comeback in the history of the NCAA Women’s Basketball tournament is 20.

Destiny Harden and Lola Pendande got in foul trouble that preceded an 18-3 Villanova run to cut the Miami lead to 57-51 at the end of the third quarter. A 9-2 Villanova run gave the Wildcats their first lead since the first quarter with 5:31 remaining. The margin remained at one back and forth for nearly five mintues.

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A Jazmyne Roberts three-point play gave Miami a 67-65 lead with 38 seconds remaining. Miami scored the final six points of the game as Villanova missed its last three shots and the Hurricanes advanced to the Elite Eight a year after the men made their inaugural appearance in the regional final. It’s a great day to be Miami Hurricane.