The ACC Champions have fallen, as Miami had an unbelievably poor shooting night and fell to third-seeded Marquette, 71-61, in a game that wasn't that close.
The Golden Eagles will take the win. After needing a miracle comeback to fend off No. 14 Davidson in the first round and holding on after a bitter comeback to beat Butler, 74-72, they eased over Miami, going up by double digits early and maintaining their lead for the entire second half.
Some of Miami's woes were the result of a smart defensive gameplan by the Golden Eagles. With Miami's center Reggie Johnson injured and not travelling to the game, Marquette trapped hard over and over again to get the ball out of Shane Larkin's hands. It worked, with the Hurricanes' leading scorer only taking eight shots. But a big part of the loss was absolutely dreadful shooting by every player on Miami.
Durand Scott went 3-for-13. Trey McKinney Jones went 3-for-10, and that's only because of some garbage time threes. Rion Brown went 2-for-12, and just 1-for-8 from beyond the arc.
Around the hoop, Marquette couldn't get anything. Their player of the game might be Jamil Wilson — a 6'7 Oregon transfer who plays off the bench — who hit all three of the team's three-pointers and had three blocks, finishing with a team-high 16.
The first half was brutal for the Hurricanes. They shot 1-for-12 from beyond the arc and just 6-for-28 from the field, scoring only 16 points, their lowest output of the year. (Seriously, look at their shot chart.) Scott and Julian Gamble would finish the half scoreless, failing to connect on several looks around the basket. Marquette would go up by double digits quickly and lead by 13 heading into the break.
Miami stepped up their offense in the second half a bit — Kenny Kadji and Larkin hit a pair of early threes — but after playing decently early and benefiting from Miami's frigid performance, Marquette was unstoppable. They made eight of their first nine attempts from the field in the second half. A layup and a three by Jamil Wilson made the lead 18, after which the Hurricanes would switch to a full-court press that hurt as much as it helped. Down 21, they pulled it back to a three-quarters court press, which forced some turnovers and led to a 7-0 run. But as soon as the Golden Eagles began performing modestly on offense, the game was once again out of reach.
The Golden Eagles will go on to play the winner of No. 1 Indiana vs. No. 4 Syracuse.
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