Thursday, November 23, 2017
Sports

Golly gee, Hurricanes' Sweet 16 run swell

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CORAL GABLES — The Miami Hurricanes leave locker room language in the locker room, because coach Jim Larranaga prohibits cursing on the court.

What the heck?

"One of our messages is that success is based on self-discipline," Larranaga said. "If you're swearing all the time, you'll swear in the game and get yourself a technical foul or get yourself out of synch or out of control."

Dang, that make sense, and lately the Hurricanes haven't had much to curse anyway. Two wins last week got them to the Sweet 16, where they'll play Villanova on Thursday in Louisville, Ky., with a chance to reach the Elite Eight for the first time.

Now another Larranaga rule comes into play: Set your sights high. That's why the Hurricanes (27-7), seeded third in the South Region, were talking more Monday about No. 2 seed Villanova (31-5) than about Saturday's win over Wichita State.

"We left all our celebrations in the locker room," Miami junior G Davon Reed said. "The goal is to win it all."

Miami hasn't played Villanova since 2004, but they're no strangers. Wildcats coach Jay Wright tried to recruit Miami G Ja'Quan Newton, and Larranaga courted Villanova's top two scorers, G Josh Hart and F Kris Jenkins.

Larranaga and Wright are good friends who share coaching ideas. Wright uses a 3-point shooting drill he borrowed from Larranaga.

"His team must be doing very well with that," Larranaga said with a grin. The Wildcats shot 10-for-19 from 3-point range in their win Sunday over Iowa.

Larranaga's tournament history includes an improbable trip to the Final Four with George Mason 10 years ago, and he said the thrill of success in March doesn't change: "Every time it's a new experience, an exciting experience and a new memory," the 66-year-old said.

Ducks remain: Oregon watched the rest of its conference get kicked out of the tournament and faced a seven-point deficit with five minutes left as the rest of the country watched to see if the Ducks would be the first No. 1 seed to be sent home.

Dillon Brooks and Tyler Dorsey refused to see the Ducks, and to a lesser degree the Pac-12 Conference, wiped out from the NCAAs on the opening weekend.

"I play with so much emotion, so much heart, it translates to everybody else on the team," Brooks said. "Everybody else is getting hyped. And they want to win so bad, as I do."

Brooks had 25 points to carry Oregon (29-6) past No. 8 seed St. Joseph's 69-64 late Sunday and into the Sweet 16.

Outside of Oregon's two wins the Pac-12, which received seven bids to the NCAAs, went 1-6 over the weekend.

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