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Elite! MBB Tops Iowa State, 70-56, to Earn First NCAA Quarterfinal Berth

Elite! MBB Tops Iowa State, 70-56, to Earn First NCAA Quarterfinal Berth

by Alex Schwartz

CHICAGO – The University of Miami men’s basketball team recorded the biggest win in program history Friday night at the United Center, defeating Iowa State, 70-56, to clinch its first Elite Eight trip ever.

No. 10-seeded Miami (26-10, 14-6 ACC) led for over 38 minutes and trailed for just 16 seconds, en route to the monumental victory over the No. 11-seeded Cyclones. Sixth-year redshirt senior guard Kameron McGusty scored a game-high 27 points, the fourth-most in an NCAA Tournament game by a Miami player, for the Hurricanes in front of the crowd of 20,857.

“This is a milestone that these players will remember for the rest of their lives and so will our fans and our alumni. People will be very proud of how this team has represented our great university,” Miami head coach Jim Larrañaga said. “I thought both teams battled from start to finish with tremendous defensive efforts, multiple efforts. We kind of survived their intensity by creating our own opportunities with turnovers and fast breaks and really clutch performances by the whole starting team.”

Miami made its first three shots and raced out to a 7-0 lead after just 89 seconds, drawing a quick timeout by Iowa State (22-13, 7-11 B12). The Cyclones, though, answered with an 8-0 run in 2:25 to go up by one with 15:30 on the clock.

After the Hurricanes went on to regain the lead, Iowa State made its first 3-pointer with 7:18 left in the frame to even the score. Miami, though, answered with six straight points in just 69 seconds to go up, 23-17, with 5:37 to go in the half. The Hurricanes eventually built their lead back to seven, but Iowa State scored the final four points of the session and Miami took a 32-29 edge into the locker room.

The Hurricanes, who led for 18:36 in the first half, got all 32 of their points from three players: McGusty (14), fourth-year junior guard Jordan Miller (10) and sixth-year redshirt senior forward Sam Waardenburg (eight).

Both teams shot over 43 percent through 20 minutes, but combined for 17 turnovers, as Miami went 13-of-27 (48.1 percent) with eight giveaways and Iowa State went 13-of-30 (43.3 percent) with nine.

Miami used an early 7-0 run in just 71 seconds to take a then-game-high eight-point edge, 43-35, with 14:50 remaining. After an Iowa State basket, third-year sophomore guard Isaiah Wong extended the lead even higher, to nine, 46-37, with 12:23 left, making it a 10-2 surge in 3:38.

The Cyclones pulled back within five, but Miami countered with six consecutive points to take an 11-point advantage, 55-44, with 6:10 to go. That turned into a 13-4 burst to give the Hurricanes a game-best 14-point cushion, 62-48, with 2:26 on the clock.

Both teams exchanged baskets down the stretch until the final margin held steady at 14 and, as the buzzer sounds, the Hurricanes poured off the bench in celebration.

“The word that stands out in my mind is ‘relentless,’” Larrañaga said of the second-half performance. “We were relentlessly pursuing the ball, relentlessly fighting to keep them from getting easy baskets. And then we relentlessly shared the ball. We had 21 assists. That is spectacular against a defense like that.”

McGusty’s game-high point total came on a superb 10-of-18 mark from the floor, his second straight outing with that clip, again matching the second-most makes by a Hurricane in the NCAA Tournament. The Katy, Texas, native, added six rebounds and a game-best four steals, the latter mark tying the program record in NCAA Tournament action and marking the second consecutive contest he did so.

Miller totaled 16 points, connecting on all six of his field goals—that is the most makes without a miss by a Hurricane ever in the NCAA Tournament—and shooting 4-of-6 from the stripe. He also notched seven rebounds and two blocks.

Waardenburg totaled 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting, pulled down a team-high eight rebounds, led all players with three blocks and dished out five assists. Sixth-year redshirt senior guard Charlie Moore, playing in his hometown, tied a season best with a game-high nine assists, matching the program record in an NCAA Tournament contest.

Freshman guard Tyrese Hunter, the Big 12 Freshman of the Year, and senior guard Gabe Kalscheur scored 13 points apiece to pace the Cyclones. Senior guard Izaiah Brockington, a First Team All-Big 12 honoree, added 11 points. Miami, however, held the double-digit-scoring trio to a combined 17-of-45 shooting (37.8 percent), with each of them below 43 percent.

The Hurricanes finished the night 26-of-56 (46.4 percent) from the floor, including 9-of-26 (34.6 percent) from 3-point range. At the other end, they held Iowa State to just a 25-of-68 clip (36.8 percent), including a 4-of-22 mark (18.2 percent) beyond the arc.

Miami’s 21 assists not only set a season best, but marked the team’s highest total in over three years and set a program record in NCAA Tournament competition. Meanwhile, the 56 points allowed set a new season best at the defensive end.

The Hurricanes will now play top-seeded and third-ranked Kansas in a Sunday matinee at 2:20 p.m. at the United Center, live on CBS.

To keep up with the University of Miami men’s basketball team on social media, follow @CanesHoops on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

– The Hurricanes moved to 1-1 all-time against Iowa State, including 1-1 at neutral sites, 1-0 in the NCAA Tournament and 1-1 in Larrañaga’s tenure.
– Miami improved to 11-10 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, including 7-4 under Larrañaga, 8-6 as a higher seed, 3-0 as the No. 10 seed, 3-1 as a double-digit seed, 3-1 versus No. 11 seeds, 7-3 against double-digit seeds, 1-0 in 10/11 games, 1-0 in Illinois, 1-3 in the Round of 16 and 1-2 against Big 12 teams.
– Larrañaga, who entered the game with the 10th-most victories of any active Division I coach, is now 696-474 in 38 years as a head coach, including 226-140 in 11 seasons at Miami.
– Larrañaga now owns a 1-2 record against Big 12 teams in his tenure with the Hurricanes, including a 1-0 mark in postseason play and a 1-1 ledger at neutral sites.
– For the 27th time this season, Miami used a starting lineup of McGusty, J. Miller, Moore, Waardenburg and Wong.
– With 1,255 career points at Miami, McGusty moved into 23rd on the program’s all-time scoring list, passing Mike McCoy (1960-63), Dwayne Collins (2006-10) and Wong (2019-present).
– McGusty now has 640 points on the year, eclipsing Jack McClinton (2008-09) and Don Curnutt (1967-68) for sixth place on the program’s single-season list.
– McGusty moved into third plce at Miami in single-season minutes played, passing Guillermo Diaz (2005-06) with 1225 minutes.
– With 36 starts in 2021-22, McGusty and Moore tied Kenny Kadji (2012-13) and Malcolm Grant (2011-12) for third place on Miami’s single-season leaderboard.
– Moore now has 170 assists on the year, passing Shane Larkin (2012-13) and Vernon Jennings (1998-99) to place third on Miami’s single-season list.
– With 1,175 minutes played this year, Moore moved past Durand Scott (2012-13), Sheldon McClellan (2015-16), Davon Reed (2016-17), Malcolm Grant (2010-11) and Rion Brown (2013-14) for seventh place on the program’s single-season leaderboard.
– Wong took possession of fourth place in program history for single-season minutes played, tallying 1178 minutes, only behind Shane Larkin (2012-13), Sheldon McClellan (2014-15) and teammate McGusty (2021-22).
– With 35 starts on the year, Wong tied five individuals for seventh place on the program’s single-season list.
– Miami has 26 wins in a season for the third time in program history, all during Larrañaga’s 11-year tenure (2012-13, 2015-16 and 2021-22).
– Miami has now logged 20-plus assists 18 times in Larrañaga’s tenure, owning a 17-1 record in those contests.
– The Hurricanes moved to 25-4 this season when scoring 65-plus points, including 22-4 when scoring 70-plus.
– Friday marked the 16th time this season Miami has posted double-digit steals, including the 13th in the last 22 outings.
– The Hurricanes’ prior season high in assists was 20, recorded on both 11/9/21 versus Canisius and 12/20/21 against Stetson.
– The last time Miami had 21 assists in a game was on 12/22/18 versus Florida Atlantic, well over three years ago.
– The previous low point total by a Miami foe this year was 57 by North Carolina, a fellow Elite Eight team, on 1/18/22.
– Iowa State’s two made free throws marked the lowest total by a Miami foe this season, as the prior mark was three by both Virginia on 2/5/22 and Georgia Tech on 1/29/22.
– Miami has trailed for a total of just 16 seconds in its last two NCAA Tournament games, while leading for just over 68 minutes.
– Since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1985, Miami is the second team to make the Elite Eight one year after winning 10 or fewer games, joining 1998-99 Ohio State.
– According to ESPN Stats & Info, Larrañaga is the first coach in NCAA history to lead two different programs to the Elite Eight as a double-digit seed, as he also did so in 2006 with George Mason.
– Prior to Miller’s 6-of-6 mark, the best mark by a Hurricane in the NCAA Tournament on a minimum of six shots was a 9-of-11 ledger (81.8 percent) on 3/19/16 against Wichita State.
– Moore’s nine assists matched Shane Larkin’s NCAA Tournament single-game program record of nine set on 3/22/13 versus Pacific.
– McGusty recorded four steals in back-to-back games, tying the program record for steals in an NCAA Tournament game yet again.
– McGusty’s 27 points trail only the 38 by Jack McClinton on 3/21/08 versus St. Mary’s, the 31 by Johnny Hemsley on 3/12/99 against Lafayette and the 28 by Angel Rodriguez versus Wichita State on the program’s NCAA Tournament single-game leaderboard.
– For the second straight game, McGusty totaled 10 made field goals to again tie for second on Miami’s single-game list for makes in an NCAA Tournament game alongside Johnny Hemsley, who did so on 3/12/99 versus Lafayette.
– For the third consecutive contest, McGusty attempted 18 field goals, the co-third-most in an NCAA Tournament game in program history.
– Waardenburg’s three blocks are good for co-third in Miami program history in an NCAA Tournament game, matching the mark held by John Salmons on 3/12/99 against Lafayette and Jimmy Graham on 3/23/08 against Texas.
– Three Hurricanes—McGusty, J. Miller and Moore—have combined for a quartet of four-steal showings in this NCAA Tournament after all prior Hurricanes had only three total.
– The Hurricanes’ prior record for assists in an NCAA Tournament affair was 20 against Lafayette on 3/12/99.
– Miami’s 26 made field goals matched the fourth-highest NCAA Tournament single-game total in program history, equaling the ledger on 3/19/00 versus Ohio State.
– With nine made 3-pointers, Miami tied its fifth-highest total ever in an NCAA Tournament game.
– The Hurricanes’ 26 3-point attempts equaled their most ever in NCAA Tournament play, tying the mark set on 3/28/13 against Marquette.
– Miami posted 11 steals, good for its third-most in an NCAA Tournament contest, behind only the 12 in the last game against Auburn on 3/20/22 and the 12 against UCLA on 3/13/98.
– With seven blocked shots, Miami matched its second-highest NCAA Tournament single-game total, equaling the ledger on 3/15/18 against Loyola Chicago and trailing only the nine on 3/12/99 versus Lafayette.
– Hunter’s seven assists tied for the fourth-most by a Hurricane opponent in an NCAA Tournament game.
– Iowa State’s 42 rebounds place third among Miami foes in the NCAA Tournament.
– With 68 field-goal attempts, Iowa State logged the second-most ever by a Miami opponent in the NCAA Tournament, behind only the 69 from Auburn in the Hurricanes’ last such game on 3/20/22.
– The Hurricanes are the first non-Big 12 team to defeat the Cyclones this season, as they were previously 15-0 against such foes.
– After making just one 3-pointer in its first NCAA Tournament game and only three in its second such outing, Miami hit one on the first possession Friday and started 4-of-5 through just seven-plus minutes.
– The Hurricanes had a scoreless drought of 4:45 midway through the first half, while the Cyclones had a partially overlapping drought of 2:57.
– Miami missed its first three free throws and went just 1-of-5 from the line in the opening frame.
– McGusty (5-of-8), J. Miller (5-of-5) and Waardenburg (3-of-4) combined to shoot 13-of-17 in the first half, while the rest of the Hurricanes shot 0-of-10.
– The Hurricanes got a fourth player in the scoring column with 17:37 remaining in the game on a driving layup by Wong.
– Miami held Iowa State to just one make in a 10-shot stretch at two different points in the second half.
– Three of the remaining eight teams in the NCAA Tournament are in the ACC, as Miami joins Duke and North Carolina.
– McGusty, who reached 100 starts and 1,500 field-goal attempts in his career, registered his 27th 20-point performance, including his 21st at Miami and 14th this year.
– McGusty scored in double figures for the 97th time, including the 69th as a Hurricane and 34th in 2021-22.
– J. Miller, who surpassed 1,250 points, 3,250 minutes and 300 free-throw attempts as a collegian, scored in double figures for the 67th time, including the 17th this year.
– J. Miller also attempted a season-high six free throws, eclipsing his prior mark of five, recorded multiple times.
– Waardenburg, who eclipsed 700 points and reached 500 rebounds at Miami, scored double-figure points for the 25th time, including the 13th this season.
– Waardenburg posted five-plus assists for the fifth time, including the fourth in 2021-22.
– Moore posted five-plus assists for the 55th time, including the 18th this year and ninth in a row.
– The prior game in which Moore totaled nine assists was on 2/26/22 against Virginia Tech.
– Wong moved past 1,250 points as a Hurricane.