If you like offense, the final Elite Eight game of this year’s NCAA Tournament will be must-see TV.
The fifth-seeded Miami Hurricanes (28-7) will face the second-seeded Texas Longhorns (29-8) in the Midwest Region final Sunday evening in Kansas City, Missouri.
Miami knocked out the final top seed Friday night, beating Houston to ensure for the first time in NCAA Tournament history there won’t be a No. 1 seed in the Elite Eight. Texas is now the lowest-seeded team left in the Big Dance.
This is the Longhorns first trip to the Elite Eight since 2008, while the Hurricanes are back in the region finals for the second time in as many years.
People are also reading…
FrontPageBets takes a look at this Elite Eight matchup, with the winner being the final team to punch its ticket to the Final Four in Houston.
Miami: Road to Elite Eight
Nijel Pack scored a season-high 26 points Friday night to lift Miami past No. 1 Houston, 89-75, giving the Hurricanes just their second-ever win over a top-ranked team.
Miami led by as many as 17 at one point against a Cougars’ team that was giving up 56.6 points per game, which is second in the nation. The Hurricanes’ 57.1% shooting from the floor was the second-highest shooting percentage the vaunted Houston defense allowed all season.
Pack made seven 3-pointers in the win, while guard Isaiah Wong added 20 points.
Miami won another game by 14 points, making that five NCAA Tournament games (dating back to last year) where the Hurricanes have won by at least 14.
Averaging nearly 80 points per game this season, Miami is putting up 79 per NCAA Tournament matchup. The Hurricanes have not scored lower than 63 points in any game this season.
According to Stats Perform, Miami has the best winning percentage (.857) of any team that has played in five or more NCAA Tournament games since 2019.
Texas: Road to Elite Eight
Five Longhorns scored in double figures Friday night as Texas ran past third-seeded Xavier, 83-71.
Sophomore guard Tyrese Hunter led the way, scoring 19 points, including knocking down all three of his 3-point attempts. Both Christian Bishop and Marcus Carr added 18 points for the Longhorns, as the team shot 52.5% from the field, including 58.3% (7 of 12) from 3-point range.
Carr has now scored double figures in 33 of Texas’ 37 games this season.
It was another double-digit win for Texas as its margin of victory for the 2023 NCAA Tournament is 13 points. For the entire season, 17 of the Longhorns’ 29 wins have been by at least 10 points.
Texas didn’t get away unscathed, however, as its top NCAA Tournament scorer, senior forward Dylan Disu, who entered Friday averaging 22.5 points a game in the postseason, played about 90 seconds before leaving with injury. According to Texas, Disu has a bone bruise on his left foot, which he suffered in the second-round win over Penn State.
Texas interim coach Rodney Terry said Disu’s status is “day to day.”
No. 5 Miami vs. No. 2 Texas; Midwest Region
(All odds courtesy of DraftKings and are subject to change)
When: 5:05 p.m., Sunday; Kansas City
Spread: Texas -4 (-110); Miami +4 (-110)
Money line: Texas -190; Miami +160
O/U: 149.5 (-110)
The pick: Texas, 80-77
Gambling problem? There is help. Call 1-800-522-4700 or visit the National Council on Problem Gambling for help.
Mike Szvetitz is the General Manager and Content Director for FrontPageBets.com. Szvetitz is a 23-year veteran reporter and editor, including serving 17 years as a sports editor in Florida, Alabama and Virginia, covering everything from preps to pros. His "View From The Lazy Boy" column won multiple state and national awards. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.