college basketball

Second Half Collapse Ends Miami's NCAA Tournament Run in Loss to Kansas

The 'Canes watched a six point lead at the half evaporate as the top seeded Jayhawks outscored Miami by 32 points in the second half

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

The clock struck midnight for the No. 10 seed Miami Hurricanes men's basketball team in the NCAA Tournament on Sunday - and the magical run ended in a way they would like to quickly forget.

The 'Canes watched a six-point lead at the half evaporate as the top seeded Kansas Jayhawks outscored Miami by 32 points in the second half to get the 76-50 win in the Midwest Region final in Chicago.

"It's very frustrating. More than anything, it just hurts," senior guard Kameron McGusty said. "

Miami (26-11) closed out the first 20 minutes on a 9-2 run and took a 35-29 lead into the half thanks to 14 first-half points from McGusty. Arguably the best player for the 'Canes in the tournament entering Sunday's game, McGusty scored a combined 59 points in the first three games.

The Hurricanes also benefited from Kansas (32-6) shooting just 33 percent from the free throw line and missing all five three-point attempts in the first half. Kansas opened the second half with five straight points from forward David McCormack before a McGusty jumper gave Miami its first basket of the half.

Kansas would tie the game at 40 on a dunk from guard Christian Braun and take the lead on a three-pointer from Braun, the first made three for the Jayhawks. A layup and free throw by McCormack would give Kansas an eight point lead and cap a 19-5 run to start the half.

The Jayhawks would begin to pull away with just over 10 minutes to go in the half, extending their lead to 12 on a three pointer from Ochai Agbaji before a layup from Jordan Miller would end an over four minute scoring drought for the 'Canes.

A three-pointer from the region's Most Outstanding Player, Remy Martin, would extend Kansas' lead to 13 points and give the Jayhawks their largest lead to that point in the game. The lead would be extended to 23 on a three pointer from Agbaji, who led the Jayhawks with 18 points, and 26 on a three from Jalen Coleman-Lands.

McGusty would lead Miami with 18 total points while sophomore guard Isaiah Wong added 15 points for a 'Canes team who shot just 36 percent in the game and 15 percent from the three point line.

Normally known for their defense in the tournament, Miami allowed Kansas to shoot 50 percent from the field while the Hurricanes committed 14 turnovers in the game.

The Hurricanes, in their 11th season under head coach Jim Larranaga, advanced to the Elite Eight round for the first time in program history. They will lose Waardenburg, guard Charlie Moore and McGusty to graduation and could lose sophomore guard Isaiah Wong to the NBA Draft if he declares.

"They accomplished so much, not just in basketball but they ignited a community. We had so much support," Larranaga said. "I think generating that kind of enthusiasm for the University of Miami...we think we're heading in the right direction."

Contact Us