The Miami Hurricanes are off to a hot start in the NCAA tournament. The Canes beat the 15th-seeded Pacific Tigers 78-49 in their East Region opening game Friday afternoon.
Senior guard Durand Scott led UM with 21 points, shooting 5 of 8 from three-point range. Shane Larkin added 10 points and 9 assists (matching a career high). Reggie Johnson led the Canes with 10 rebounds.
Miami coach Jim Larranaga was so confident in Larkin, he basically let the sophomore run UM's offense on Friday.
"Since the very first day I saw Shane Larkin play, I thought he was great. And he's only gotten better at making decisions, at developing his skills and developing his role as a leader," said Larranaga. "Today, I may have called one or two offensive plays. I said to him, 'Run your team.'"
"My teammates did a great job of being in the right position, and that's the chemistry that we have," said Larkin, the ACC player of the year.
Playing the school's first NCAA tourney game since 2008, the Hurricanes (28-6) took control with a 14-0 run midway through the first half. They went on to their most-lopsided victory ever in the tournament.
Miami led 40-19 at halftime, holding Pacific to 29% shooting in the first half. Pacific missed 17 of its first 22 shots, while Larkin led the Canes with 10 first-half points and three steals.
Things did not go much better for Pacific in the second half, as the Canes widened their lead and cruised to an easy victory.
Up next for Miami is 7-seed Illinois, who beat Colorado 57-49 later Friday afternoon. A win will put Miami into the Sweet 16 for just the second time in school history.