Miami is first to Sweet 16 after ending Wichita State’s March Madness run

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Saturday is off to a great start.

No. 3 seed Miami withstood a torrent from No. 11 seed Wichita State to advance to the Sweet 16 in the South Regional. But it was not easy.

It was, however, fun to watch.

The Hurricanes won 65-57 after pulling away in the final two minutes. This coming after Wichita State rallied from a 27-6 deficit and wound up taking a 43-42 lead with 10:29 to go in the second half. That lead was taken via a Ron Baker 3-pointer. The Dunkin Donuts Center was well-attended by Miami and Wichita State supporters alike. Great environment in a packed Dunk.

After Baker’s 3-pointer Miami responded with a 9-2 run. The Shockers missed a few too many bunnies, and Miami went nuts again with dunks and big 3-pointers.

Angel Rodriguez had a game-high 28 points for Miami. He also had seven turnovers. He hit incredible shots and had hair-pulling turnovers. Rodriguez’s banked-in 3-pointer in the closing minute sealed it for Miami. The ultimate Angel Rodriguez game.

VanVleet and Shaq Morris each had 12 for Wichita State.

How’s this for full circle: Ten years after Jim Larranaga took George Mason to the Final Four, he’s defeated Wichita State again, as he did then, in trying to get back.

If Wichita State had won, it would have been the third-biggest comeback win in NCAA Tournament history.

Miami and Wichita State players battle for the ball on Saturday. (USATSI)
Miami and Wichita State players battle for the ball on Saturday. (USATSI)

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