Mar 14, 2023 - Sports

University of Miami men's hoops set for March Madness

Miami forward Norchad Omier (15) dunks the ball in the first half against FSU as Miami guard Wooga Poplar (55) looks on. Photo: Samuel Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In Miami, we live in madness all year round. Just turn on the news or pull out of your driveway.

  • So you'd think the University of Miami would fare pretty well under the pressure of March Madness — the annual college basketball tournament to crown an NCAA national champion.

Driving the news: The Hurricanes men's basketball team (25-7) punched its ticket to the tournament as the No. 5 seed in its group and will play Drake University on Friday.

  • Miami finished the regular season as champions of the Atlantic Coast Conference. But the team is coming off a disappointing loss against Duke in the ACC Tournament last week, and will look to gain some momentum.

Be smart: You might get invited to watch a game at Barracuda or maybe you just want to show some team spirit.

  • If you're not a die-hard college hoops fan, here's a cheat sheet you can use to cheer on the home team. But before we get started, make sure you ...

Learn the slang: The NCAA Championship is famously known as March Madness because, well, check the calendar.

  • Another nickname is the Big Dance, coined by the head coach of Marquette in 1977.
  • It's a common pastime to fill out your own tournament bracket, predicting the winners of every matchup as the field narrows down to the Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight and Final Four before the championship game. Place a friendly wager with a friend or join the office pool.
  • Reality check: No one has ever filled out a verifiably perfect bracket in NCAA history.

Miami's MVP: UM guard Isaiah Wong is a name to remember. The fourth-year junior is a deadly scorer, averaging 16 points a game. He can blow by the defense in transition or off the dribble, and has an incredible step-back three-point shot in his arsenal.

History lesson: UM is historically known more as a football school and it has only made the NCAA Tournament 12 times in its entire history.

  • Yes, but: Six of those times came in the last 11 years under coach Jim Larrañaga.
  • As a 10th seed last year, UM made it to the Elite Eight for the first time in school history, losing to Kansas after a magical run.
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