Reporting Tim Kephart
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Miami Hurricanes headed for the Verizon Center in Washington, DC Tuesday hoping the round of 16 is especially sweet to the second-seeded ACC champions.
The Canes are looking to extend arguably the most memorable season in school history. Miami won both the regular season Atlantic Coast Conference championship and conference tournament. After easily disposing of Pacific, Miami put Illinois away in the second round.
Now in the Sweet 16, the Canes face a very tough Marquette Golden Eagles squad, who itself is the number three seed in the East Region. The East Region is the only region with the top four seeds playing each other in the round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament.
Marquette comes into the game with a 23-8 overall record and made it to the Sweet 16 with a one point win against Davidson in the opening round and two-point win over Butler in the round of 32.
Statistically, the two teams are almost carbon copies of each other. Both Marquette and Miami average 69 points a game while Marquette shoots 47 percent from the field to Miami’s 46 percent. However, Miami has a slight advantage from three-point land at 35 percent to Marquette’s 30 percent.
Marquette’s goal will be to try to take point guard Shane Larkin out of the game for UM. Larkin has averaged 36.3 minutes per game along with 14.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and is hitting roughly 41 percent from the field.
When Miami has needed big shots whether in the regular or postseason, Larkin, just a sophomore, has been the man willing to take that shot. But it’s more than just Larkin that has powered the Hurricanes’ current run.
Seniors Durand Scott and Kenny Kadji are both averaging in double-figures per game and both shoot at least 46 percent from the field and 35 percent from behind the three-point line. Scott has also become a defensive stopper for the Canes to put on their opponents best player.
Defensively, Miami has held teams to 60.3 points per game on the season and limited them to just 39.6 percent shooting from the field and 32 percent shooting from behind the three-point line.
Still, when the Golden Eagles and Hurricanes tangle, which can only be seen on CBS4 this Thursday night at 7:15 p.m., business will definitely pick up and Miami will be facing one of the toughest tests it has seen outside of the Duke Blue Devils.
If the Canes can knock off the Golden Eagles, an even tougher foe awaits with the winner of the other East Regional game between the Indiana Hoosiers and the Syracuse Orangemen.