Jordan Miller and Isaiah Wong rallied Miami from a 13-point second-half deficit, Norchad Omier made two big free throws and an even more important steal down the stretch, and the fifth-seeded Hurricanes stunned No. 2 seed Texas 88-81 on Sunday to reach the Final Four for the first time in school history.
Miller finished with 27 points, going 7-of-7 from the field and 13-of-13 from the foul line, while Wong scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half to beat the Longhorns, who had been the top remaining seed in a topsy-turvy NCAA Tournament.
Now, after falling short in the Elite Eight a year ago, the fifth-seeded Hurricanes (29-7) are headed to NRG Stadium in Houston for a date with No. 4 seed UConn on Saturday night. Two more first-time Final Four participants, 5-seed San Diego State and 9-seed Florida Atlantic, will play in the other national semifinal.
In this maddest of Marches, it’s the first time since seeding began in 1979 that no team seeded better than No. 4 made the Final Four.
Miami and Texas were tied 79-all when Omier, who is known for his bruising style of play, was fouled by the Longhorns’ Brock Cunningham while going for a loose ball. He made both of the foul shots to give the Hurricanes the lead, then stole the ball from Texas star Marcus Carr at the other end, and Wong made two more free throws with 34 seconds left.
Miami advanced to its first Final Four in school history, with Jim Larrañaga becoming the 15th coach to take two different schools to the Final Four (he also took George Mason in 2006). Larrañaga is also the fourth coach to reach multiple Final Fours as a 5-seed or lower.
Miller kept drilling foul shots down the stretch to ice the Midwest Region title for the Hurricanes.
Carr scored 17 points to lead the Longhorns (29-9).
Reporting by The Associated Press.
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