March Madness

No. 5 Miami Advances to Final Four After No. 2 Texas Loses 13-Point Lead

The Hurricanes will play No. 4 UConn in the Final Four

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The Miami Hurricanes are headed to Houston.

No. 5 Miami (Fl.) advanced to the Final Four of the 2023 men's NCAA Tournament on Sunday with a 88-81 win vs. No. 2 Texas.

Texas had controlled the first half with a 45-37 advantage going into the second. The Longhorns made 7 of 13 3-pointers in the opening 20 minutes with Timmy Allen and Marcus Carr leading the way.

The Longhorns built on that cushion early in the second half. A jumper from Tyrese Hunter with 13:30 remaining made it 64-51 for Texas, but that signaled the beginning of the end.

The Hurricanes then stormed back with a 15-5 run with about six minutes left in the second half that cut the deficit to 72-70. Texas went over eight minutes without a jumper -- it had just one dunk and free throws in between -- before Miami took the lead.

Once Miami took a 76-75 lead, it never gave it back and made its clutch free throws the rest of the way to seal the deal. The Hurricanes were 28-for-32 (87.5 percent) from the charity stripe compared to the Longhorns' 11-for-15 (73.3 percent) clip.

Miami forward Jordan Miller deserves all the flowers for his play, as he did not miss a single free throw or field goal attempt en route to a 27-point outing, going 7-for-7 from the field and 13-for-13 from the stripe. Every Miami starter ended the game with double-digit points.

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For Texas, Carr led the way with 17 points while Allen added 16. Sir'Jabari Rice chipped in with 15 off the bench, but Miami's 51-point second half proved too much to top.

The win makes it the Hurricanes' first ever appearance in the men's Final Four. The furthest they ever reached in the tournament was the Elite Eight both this year and last year, where they had lost to No. 1 Kansas 76-50 as the No. 10 seed.

It would've been the Longhorns' fourth appearance in the Final Four -- their first since 2003 -- had they held on. The men's side has never won the NCAA Tournament, let alone advance past the Final Four.

If the Hurricanes hope to keep making history, they'll need to beat No. 4 UConn. The Huskies have won every single game of the tournament by double digits: 87-63 vs. No. 13 Iona, 70-55 vs. No. 5 Saint Mary's, 88-65 vs. No. 8 Arkansas and 82-54 vs. No. 3 Gonzaga.

Tipoff for Miami-UConn is slated for Saturday, April 1 at NRG Stadium, home of the Houston Texans. No. 5 San Diego State vs. No. 9 Florida Atlantic is the other Final Four matchup set for the same day.

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