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MBB Falls to Top-Seeded Kansas in Elite Eight

MBB Falls to Top-Seeded Kansas in Elite Eight

by Alex Schwartz

CHICAGO – One of the greatest seasons in the history of University of Miami men’s basketball came to an end Sunday afternoon at the United Center.

In its first Elite Eight appearance, No. 10-seeded Miami (26-11, 14-6 ACC) held a six-point halftime lead on top-seeded Kansas, but the third-ranked Jayhawks controlled the second session to earn a 76-50 victory in front of 20,241 fans.

Sixth-year redshirt senior guard Kameron McGusty scored a co-game-high 18 points for the Hurricanes in the final outing of his illustrious collegiate career.

“This was a fun season with a lot of guys pulling together and enjoying playing with each other,” Miami head coach Jim Larrañaga said. “They developed a style of play, both offensively and defensively, that may become the standard for all of our future teams.”

Neither team led by more than three points through the opening 16-plus minutes until sixth-year redshirt senior forward Sam Waardenburg went on a personal 5-0 run to put Miami up, 31-27, with 3:16 on the first-half clock. After a bucket by Kansas (32-6, 14-4 B12), the Hurricanes scored the next four points, making it a 9-2 surge to end the half.

Miami went into the locker room with a six-point edge, 35-29, behind McGusty’s 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting. As a team, the Hurricanes went 6-of-6 at the line and 3-of-8 from deep, while the Jayhawks shot 3-of-9 and 0-of-5, respectively.

Kansas opened the second half by making eight of 11 shots, including a go-ahead 3-pointer for its first long-range make, creating a 19-5 run to go in front, 48-40, with 14:21 left. The stretch finished with a 10-0 surge in just 100 seconds that ultimately also became part of a 19-4 run to put the Jayhawks ahead by 13 points, 57-44, with 8:57 remaining.

In total, Kansas scored 28 of the first 37 points after halftime to take control of the game. The Jayhawks built their advantage as high as 26, the closing margin, in a stellar second-half showing on their way to the 16th Final Four berth in program history.

McGusty’s team-best point total helped him earn NCAA Midwest Region All-Tournament Team distinction.  Third-year sophomore guard Isaiah Wong joined him in double figures, finishing with 15 points. It marked just the third in 2021-22 the Hurricanes did not have a third double-digit scorer.

Two Miami starters, Waardenburg and fourth-year junior guard Jordan Miller, fouled out in the second half. Waardenburg, who did so in a regulation game for the first time in his career, picked up his fifth foul with 8:11 left, while Miller’s fifth came with 2:40 left.

“I saw two teams battle like crazy in the first half. We had the upperhand for a majority of the half,” Larrañaga said. “But in the second half, we didn’t execute the way we had been. Kansas not only executed better, but way better. We couldn’t make a shot, didn’t make a three and that made it really challenging.”

Kansas senior guard Ochai Agbaji, a First Team All-American, matched McGusty with 18 points, shooting 8-of-12 from the floor and 2-of-2 beyond the arc. He added five rebounds, four assists and a game-best four steals.

Senior forward David McCormack posted 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field. Junior guard Christian Braun totaled 12 points, while redshirt sophomore forward Jalen Wilson led all players with 11 rebounds.

Kansas finished the day shooting 50.0 percent (29-of-58) from the floor and, after missing its first six 3-pointers, 35.7 percent (5-of-14) beyond the arc. Miami, meanwhile, shot a season-low 34.5 percent (19-of-55) overall. The Hurricanes finished 3-of-21 from deep, going 0-of-13 in the second half alone for just their second session of the year in which they did not make a 3-pointer.

Miami also posted season low in overall points and, with 15 in the second half, a season low in points in a single frame.

The Hurricanes, picked No. 12 in the ACC preseason poll, finished with the third-most wins in program history. They made the fourth Sweet 16 trip and first Elite Eight bid ever by Miami.

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

The Canes' postgame press conference after the NCAA Midwest Regional Final.

– The Hurricanes moved to 1-4 all-time against Kansas, including 0-1 at neutral sites, 0-1 in the NCAA Tournament and 0-1 in Larrañaga’s tenure.
– Miami fell to 11-11 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, including 7-5 under Larrañaga, 3-4 as a lower seed, 3-1 as the No. 10 seed, 3-2 as a double-digit seed, 0-1 versus No. 1 seeds, 4-7 against single-digit seeds, 0-1 in 1/10 games, 1-1 in Illinois, 0-1 in the quarterfinals and 1-3 against Big 12 teams.
– Larrañaga, who entered the game with the 10th-most victories of any active Division I coach, is now 696-475 in 38 years as a head coach, including 226-141 in 11 seasons at Miami.
– Larrañaga now owns a 1-3 record against Big 12 teams in his tenure with the Hurricanes, including a 1-1 mark in postseason play and a 1-2 ledger at neutral sites.
– For the 28th time this season, Miami used a starting lineup of McGusty, Waardenburg, Wong, J. Miller and sixth-year redshirt senior guard Charlie Moore.
– With 1,273 career points at Miami, McGusty passed Chris Lykes (2017-21) and DJ Vasiljevic (2016-20) to end his tenure at No. 21 on the program’s all-time scoring list.
– McGusty finished his Miami career with an 80.0 free-throw percentage (224-280), good for No. 13 in program history.
– With 37 starts this year, McGusty and Moore tied Tonye Jekiri (2014-15) for second place on Miami’s single-season leaderboard, behind only the 38 from Sheldon McClellan (2015-16).
– With two steals against Kansas, Moore tied Vernon Jennings (1999-00) for second on the program’s single-season steals list at 75.
– Moore took possession of fifth place in program history for single-season minutes played at 1,202, passing Durand Scott (2010-11) and Guillermo Diaz (2005-06).
– Three 2021-22 Hurricanes rank in the top five for single-season minutes played at Miami: McGusty (third – 1,260), Wong (fourth – 1,242) and Moore (fifth – 1,202).
– Wong, with 1,269 points, passed Chris Lykes (2017-21) and now sits in No. 22 place on the program’s all-time scoring list.
– With 36 starts in 2021-22, Wong tied Kenny Kadji (2012-13) and Malcolm Grant (2010-11) for fifth place on the program’s single-season list.
– J. Miller closed the season as the program’s current all-time leader in career field-goal percentage (min. four FGM per game) with a 56.1 percent clip.
– J. Miller’s 56.1 field goal percentage (147-of-262) places him in eighth on the Miami single-season list.
– With a 41.8 3-point percentage (41-of-98) this year, Waardenburg finished the year No. 12 on Miami’s single-season leaderboard.
– J. Miller currently has a 57.7 field-goal percentage (15-of-26) in NCAA Tournament play in his career, the best ever by a Miami player, surpassing Sheldon McClellan’s 54.5 clip (18-of-33).
– With 12 blocked shots in the NCAA Tournament, Waardenburg shattered Miami’s prior career record of seven held by John Salmons.
– Waardenburg finishes his Miami career with a 52.4 field-goal percentage (11-of-21) in the NCAA Tournament, the fifth-best by a Hurricane in the event.
– McGusty concludes his Miami career with 77 points in the NCAA Tournament, the second-most ever by a Hurricane, trailing only the 114 by Johnny Hemsley.
– McGusty made 32 field goals in the NCAA Tournament at Miami, good for second-most in program history, behind just the 38 by Johnny Hemsley.
– With 71 field-goal attempts in the NCAA Tournament, McGusty places second on Miami’s career leaderboard in the event, trailing just the 85 by Johnny Hemsley.
– McGusty attempted 19 3-pointers in NCAA Tournament play at Miami, third-most all-time.
– McGusty and Moore each logged 10 steals in NCAA Tournament competition as a Hurricane, tying for second-most at Miami, just behind the 11 by Vernon Jennings.
– With 24 assists in NCAA Tournament action at Miami, Moore placed second in program history, behind only the 39 by Vernon Jennings.
– Wong now has 65 points in NCAA Tournament play in his career, tied with Angel Rodriguez for fifth-most by a Miami player.
– With 24 made field goals in NCAA Tournament competition as a Hurricane, Wong ranks fifth in program history.
– Wong owns 55 field-goal attempts in NCAA Tournament play in his career, third-most ever by a Hurricane.
– Miami finished with four blocked shots, tied for its fifth-most in an NCAA Tournament game, equaling a ledger posted five times before.
– Agbaji’s four steals tied the record for an opposing player against Miami in the NCAA Tournament, matching a figure previously recorded by five others.
– Agbaji tallied eight made field goals to place co-second by an opposing player in the NCAA Tournament, equaling a mark held by five others.
– Wilson’s 11 rebounds tied for the fifth-most by a Miami foe in the NCAA Tournament, matching the marks by Marquette’s Trent Lockett on 3/28/13, UCLA’s Toby Bailey on 3/13/98 and Missouri’s Travon Bryant on 3/14/02.
– With 76 points, Kansas posted the fifth-highest total by a Miami opponent in the NCAA Tournament.
– The Jayhawks’ 29 made field goals place third by a Miami foe in the NCAA Tournament.
– With a 50.0 field-goal percentage, the Jayhawks recorded the fifth-best ledger by a Hurricane opponent in NCAA Tournament action.
– Kansas recorded 18 assists to tie for second-most by a Miami opponent in the NCAA Tournament, marking the fourth time a team hit exactly that number, all trailing only the 19 by Loyola Chicago on 3/15/18.
– The Jayhawks attempted 26 free throws, tied with Ohio State on 3/19/00 for the fourth-most by a Hurricane foe in the NCAA Tournament.
– With 41 rebounds, Kansas tied for the fourth-highest NCAA Tournament single-game number by a Miami foe, tying marks previously logged by Texas on 3/23/08 and by Tulsa on 3/24/00.
– McGusty joined Braun, McCormack, Kansas’ Remy Martin (MOP) and Providence’s Al Durham on the NCAA Midwest Region All-Tournament Team.
– Sunday marked the second time this season a Miami foe went a full half without making a 3-pointer, joining the second half of the matchup with Florida State on 1/22/22.
– Kansas finished with a 17-0 edge in second-chance points, as Miami finished with none for the first time all season.
– The Jayhawks became just the fourth Miami opponent this season to force more turnovers than they committed.
– The Hurricanes’ previous lowest point total this season was 58 at Virginia on 2/5/22, the only other time it finished under 60.
– Miami’s prior lowest field-goal clip this year was 35.3 percent (18-of-51) at Florida Atlantic on 11/16/21.
– The Hurricanes’ previous low second-half point total was 31 on 3/10/22 versus Boston College in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals in Brooklyn, N.Y.
– Miami’s 19 first-half points against Florida State on 1/22/22 was its prior low mark in any session this season.
– The Hurricanes’ 21.4 second-half field-goal percentage (6-of-28) marked its lowest ledger of the season in any frame, below the prior tally of 26.1 percent (6-of-23) in the first half against Florida State on 1/22/22.
– Miami’s previous low mark in the second half this season was 30.8 percent (8-of-26) at Florida Atlantic on 11/16/21.
– The only other time the Hurricanes went without a made 3-pointer in a half was 3/18/22 in the first half versus USC in the NCAA Tournament Round of 64.
– Moore surpassed 1,700 points in his career.
– McGusty, who eclipsed 1,850 points as a collegian, scored in double figures for the 98th time, including the 70th at Miami and 35th this season.
– Waardenburg, who fouled out for the second time in his career and first since a triple-overtime game at Virginia Tech on 2/19/20, moved past 3,000 minutes played.
– Waardenburg also reached 100 blocks as a Hurricane, becoming the 12th player in program history to hit triple digits.
– Wong scored in double figures for the 64th time, including the 31st this year.
– J. Miller fouled out for the fifth time in his career and second this season, with the prior one on 11/13/21 against UCF in the second game of the year.
– Third-year sophomore forward Anthony Walker eclipsed 1,500 minutes played in his career