Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Sports

Miami Hurricanes' brush off No. 1 NCAA snub

RECOMMENDED READING


GREENSBORO, N.C. — From the packed and rowdy hotel suite, Jim Larranaga quietly stood up with a quick message.

His Miami players were cheering the No. 2 NCAA Tournament seed, but his face was straight.

"We have a lot of work to do," he said while stepping into the quiet hallway.

The surreal Sunday had taken another turn when the Hurricanes were paired with Pacific in Friday's NCAA second-round game in Austin, Texas. Earlier, they celebrated the school's first ACC title with a win over North Carolina that set up an unprecedented seeding.

Never before had an ACC regular-season and tournament champion landed anything but a No. 1. But NCAA selection committee chairman Mike Bobinski said Gonzaga ended up "just ahead of them," on the CBS broadcast.

Miami senior Kenny Kadji was tempered in his celebration of the seeding. Other teammates appeared disappointed when the brackets filled out.

"We've been the underdogs all year, all season and it worked out well for us," Kadji said. "I wouldn't call it disrespect, but I guess we'll take it like that."

The Hurricanes will open against Big West champion Pacific, which has played in the NCAA Tournament eight times but last appeared in 2006.

Drawing the Friday-Sunday bracket was huge, Larranaga said, considering the brutal three games it took to claim the ACC title. That, he said, was more important than landing a No. 1 seed.

"I couldn't care less," he said. "The (NCAA selection) committee has a very challenging job to figure out who should be the No. 1 seeds and where they should play. I'm more happy that we play on Friday than about any seeding."

The No. 2 seeding matches that of UM's 1998-99 team that was eliminated in the second round by Purdue.

The Hurricanes, making their first NCAA appearance since 2008, seemed a contender for one of the four top seeds awarded Sunday, but those went to Louisville, Kansas, Indiana and Gonzaga.

A team that had impressed Tar Heels coach Roy Williams so much that he waited outside Miami's locker room after Sunday's game to congratulate players and coaches wasn't quite considered top seed-worthy.

"We don't take that as any disrespect at all," senior center Julian Gamble said. "I mean we're a two-seed, which is one of the top eight teams in the country. It's a lot of respect, in that aspect."

Comments
American Athletic Conference power rankings, Week 13

American Athletic Conference power rankings, Week 13

Memphis has locked down the West Division.All that's left is to settle the East with Friday's "War on I-4" between UCF and USF.USF has won six of the eight meetings in the rivalry, but the stakes never have been greater. The winner advances to play M...
Updated: 1 hour ago
More attractive landing spot for coaches, UF or FSU?

More attractive landing spot for coaches, UF or FSU?

GAINESVILLE — Unless Chip Kelly has made up his mind by the time you read this, the Gators are still looking for a new football coach.There's a chance the rival Seminoles aren't far behind. Industry insiders are speculating that Texas A&M could...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lakewood defenders put early-season blip firmly behind them

Lakewood defenders put early-season blip firmly behind them

ST. PETERSBURG — The turning point in Lakewood High’s football season came on Sept. 2. The Spartans had a lead against rival St. Petersburg on Friday night when rain and lightning forced the second half to be played the next morning.Lakewood imploded...
Published: 11/22/17
Fennelly: USF-UCF rivalry needs more than directional disrespect

Fennelly: USF-UCF rivalry needs more than directional disrespect

TAMPA — It’s the biggest football game in USF history. It’s two days and 90 miles away. USF at UCF. The 9-1 Bulls against the 10-0 Knights. It’s USF coach Charlie Strong against UCF/Florida/Nebraska coach Scott Frost. It̵...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Call Missouri jinxed, but Michael Porter Jr. injury is its own story

Please repeat after me: There is no such thing as jinxes, hexes, ghosts or cartoonish black clouds looming with personalized curses for select targets.Honest.But, boy, are there coincidences — even if some say there is no such thing as those, either....
Updated: 9 hours ago

Giants are NFL’s most disappointing team this season, but Broncos are close

The New York Giants made the playoffs for the first time in four years last season under the guidance of coach Ben McAdoo, setting high expectations for the 2017 campaign. They pushed those expectations even higher with the addition in free agency of...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Cambridge Christian’s Caleb Young makes up for lost season

Cambridge Christian’s Caleb Young makes up for lost season

TAMPA — For Cambridge Christian, last Friday’s Class 2A region final against Indian Rocks Christian represented a hurdle that the Lancers couldn’t quite clear a year ago. For one Lancer in particular, it was the Golden Eagles themselves that brought ...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Bucs journal: Defense struggling to get off the field on third and long

Bucs journal: Defense struggling to get off the field on third and long

TAMPA — Third and long, normally an ideal situation for an NFL defense, continues to be a problem as the Bucs try to get opposing offenses off the field.In the second half of Sunday’s game, the Dolphins converted six third downs when they needed 8 ya...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Browns welcome Gordon to practice

Browns welcome Gordon to practice

CLEVELAND — Every day he stays committed and sober, Josh Gordon takes another step toward playing again in the NFL. The long walk and wait are nearly over. The wide receiver, who squandered millions in potential earnings and derailed a promising care...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Bucs-Falcons: Has this former Buc become a pass-rushing force?

Bucs-Falcons: Has this former Buc become a pass-rushing force?

TAMPA — The Bucs face the defending NFC champions twice in their final six games. As they prepare to go to Atlanta on Sunday, former Tampa Bay first-round pick Adrian Clayborn is enjoying quite a two-week run.Clayborn, 29, had six sacks Nov. 12 in a ...
Updated: 10 hours ago