Thursday, May 24, 2018
Sports

Miami beats Illinois to make NCAA Sweet 16

AUSTIN, Texas — Shane Larkin hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with a minute left and Miami gained possession on a ball knocked out of bounds that probably should have gone to Illinois, helping the Hurricanes hold on for a 63-59 victory Sunday night to advance to the NCAA Tournament's Sweet 16.

After Larkin's first field goal in about 91/2 minutes, D.J. Richardson missed a 3-pointer. In the fight for the rebound, the ball appeared to ricochet off the hands of Miami's Kenny Kadji out of bounds. But the Hurricanes kept the ball, and Durand Scott hit two free throws after that.

"You saw the same video I did," first-year Illinois coach Jim Groce said. He added, "hard game to officiate … 50-50 calls are hard sometimes."

Miami (29-6) is in the Sweet 16 for the second time and is one of three schools from Florida to advance that far, a first for the state and the most of any state in this year's tournament. The second-seeded Hurricanes play Marquette in an East Region semifinal in Washington, D.C., on Thursday night.

"Win and advance, lose and go home," coach Jim Larranaga said. "So we are happy we are advancing in the Sweet 16. That is a tremendous accomplishment. These kids have been great. We had a very hard time scoring against their defense."

Larkin, the only nonsenior starter for Miami and the ACC player of the year, finished with 17 points. Rion Brown had 21 with five 3s, and Kadji added 10 points and eight rebounds.

Brandon Paul had 18 points for No. 7 seed Illinois (23-13).

Larranaga had said he planned to have more fun than any other coach in the tournament, and he wanted his team to do the same.

It is, but it had to fight to the end — and get what looked like a big break — to finish off the Illini.

Brown and Larkin both had two free throws in the final 16 seconds, between a tip-in by Nnanna Egwu.

Before Larkin's go-ahead 3, he hadn't scored since 10:29 was left in the game. He put Miami up 38-37 when he drove to the basket, cradled the ball to his side with his arm while getting fouled, then made the shot. He missed the free throw, but the Hurricanes got the rebound and Scott drove for a one-handed dunk.

Less than two minutes later, the lead was 46-39 after Brown's 3 from the right corner in front of the UM bench that sent his teammates and the Hurricanes fans nearby in a frenzy.

Comments
Lightning drops Game 7; Capitals face Knights in Stanley Cup final

Lightning drops Game 7; Capitals face Knights in Stanley Cup final

Fans react while watching outside Amalie Arena the Tampa Bay Lightning Game 7 in the Eastern Conference final against the Washington Capitals on Wednesday, May 23, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. The Bolts lost 4-0. ALESSANDRA DA PRA | TimesTampa Bay Lightn...
Updated: 13 minutes ago
Rays journal: Could Sergio Romo be looking at pitching 3 straight games?

Rays journal: Could Sergio Romo be looking at pitching 3 straight games?

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays' pitching rotation for the weekend series against the Orioles could have a familiar look: Romo, Romo, Romo.Manager Kevin Cash said using veteran right-handed reliever Sergio Romo as the "opener" in all three upcoming g...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rookie’s error in 9th helps doom Rays against Red Sox

Rookie’s error in 9th helps doom Rays against Red Sox

ST. PETERSBURG — Willy Adames was so excited to be in the big leagues, even if was for just a three-day cameo callup. So thrilled to make a smashing debut with a homer on Tuesday. So proud to have his parents and sister fly in from the Dom...
Updated: 2 hours ago
‘This looks bleak.’ Game 7 loss short circuits Lightning fans

‘This looks bleak.’ Game 7 loss short circuits Lightning fans

TAMPA — Nick Genovese was anxious.The 21-year-old from Land O’Lakes had come to Thunder Alley outside Amalie Arena hoping to see the Tampa Bay Lightning triumph over the Washington Capitals in Wednesday night’s Eastern Conference winner-take-all Game...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning journal: A rare fight to this finish

Lightning journal: A rare fight to this finish

TAMPA — After Alex Ovechkin's goal 62 seconds into Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final Wednesday, the next highlight was an extended fight between Lightning D Braydon Coburn and Capitals RW Tom Wilson, with a two-minute break for them to spe...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning’s season ends one win short of Stanley Cup final with 4-0 loss to Capitals

Lightning’s season ends one win short of Stanley Cup final with 4-0 loss to Capitals

TAMPA — The Lightning's dream season ended late Wednesday with the final horn, or, if you prefer, early in the second period of Game 5, when it scored its last goal of the Eastern Conference final.How about that? The team with the most regular-...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: Tampa Bay had its chances. Here are the best ones

Lightning-Capitals: Tampa Bay had its chances. Here are the best ones

TAMPA — Yanni Gourde said he will have to see a replay to know just how it got away, but even in a lopsided 4-0 loss like Wednesday night, he'll remember the puck in front of an empty net, and the missed opportunity that encapsulated a frustrat...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Red Sox game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Red Sox game

In a way, the timing of RHP Jake Faria's oblique injury seemed manageable in that RHP Nathan Eovaldi is close to coming off the disabled list and can step in. But on the other hand, the Rays finally could have four regular starters. Imagine that.Ther...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: A hurt that could last forever

Lightning-Capitals: A hurt that could last forever

TAMPA — This one stings. And it will ache for a long time. Maybe forever in these parts.Another chance for a Stanley Cup. Another disappointment. As the Lightning skated off the ice after losing Wednesday night's Game 7 of the Eastern Conferenc...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lightning-Capitals: Grading Tampa Bay’s 4-0 loss in Game 7

Lightning-Capitals: Grading Tampa Bay’s 4-0 loss in Game 7

TAMPA — Forget Vegas.The Lightning have left the building.No more season. No more watch parties. No more anything.There is no way around it. Jon Cooper's team couldn't finish, not in Game 7 at home, not in the Eastern Conference final...
Updated: 3 hours ago