Kameron McGusty lifts Miami’s No. 10 over Iowa State’s No. 11 for program’s first Elite Eight appearance – NBC Chicago
Friday’s Sweet 16 game between No. 10 Miami and No. 11 Iowa State was a game of turnovers and transitions with the Hurricanes leading to advance to the program’s first-ever Elite Eight.
From the first tip, Miami came to play. The Hurricanes took a 7-0 lead with three different players on the board. A quick timeout from Iowa State head coach TJ Otzelberger allowed the Cyclones to regroup before scoring eight unanswered runs themselves.
The half continued as a points game as both teams exited in transition. Miami created a few split points only for Iowa State to counter with its own streak to close the gap.
With five minutes remaining and Miami up 25-21, the rims fell silent. Eight consecutive shots were missed between the two teams – four each – as the scoreline remained unchanged for two minutes. It was George Conditt IV of Iowa State who finally broke the deadlock at the free throw line.
From there, the teams resumed running, going back and forth across the field. Iowa State’s Izaiah Brockington finally got the last halftime laugh as he converted a steal into a layup with six seconds left to cut the lead to three.
Miami’s 32 points in the first half came from a balanced trio of Jordan Miller, Sam Waardenburg and Kameron McGusty, all of whom recorded double-digit points.
Returning from the halftime break, Iowa State guard Tyrese Hunter tried to set the tone for the Cyclones, making back-to-back layups. Miami’s balanced offense, however, was too much for the 18-year-old Hunter to follow.
Miami goaltender Charlie Moore missed a 3-point attempt to get a second look thanks to an offensive tip from Miller. Meanwhile, Miller knocked down two free throws followed by a McGusty jumper to push Miami’s lead to eight.
Moore, who had been electric in the first two games of the tournament averaging 15.5 points, six rebounds and six assists, struggled to find his shot. The sixth-year senior only scored five points but found other ways to contribute, accounting for nine of the team’s 21 assists.
After six misses and two minutes without a score change, the Iowa State offense took on a new lease of life. A backdoor from Gabe Kalscheur and a low block feed to Robert Jones took the Cyclones to less than five minutes with just over 10 minutes remaining, prompting Miami head coach Jay Larranaga to call for time. dead.
Iowa State put the pressure on at the break, but Miami continued to find a response, usually through McGusty, which the Cyclones apparently couldn’t stop. The sixth-year senior led all scorers with 27 points on 10 of 18 shots from the field.
“We knew they were going to come out and pressure us,” Waardenburg said. “We had the most turnovers we’ve had this tournament but we kept our identity and forced 18 turnovers as well.”
Just when it looked like the momentum was returning to Iowa State, Waardenburg deflected a midfield logo pass and capped it off with a two-handed dunk on the other end. Everything was Miami from then on.
“I was able to get my hands on the ball, go out and dunk it,” he said. “It’s the energy of the turn and the energy of these guys, it’s what really rocks you, not the dunk…”
A Miami shot clock violation gave Iowa State the ball at nine with four minutes to work. They continued to smash the offensive boards and stick to their offensive plans, but the shots just weren’t coming in and fatigue seemed to be showing on Iowa State’s part. Already leading by nine points, the Hurricanes went 9-4 to build a 14-point cushion.
After stepping up when his team needed him most, Hunter scored a quick 2. With 2:38 remaining, Iowa State again took the pressure off the entire court, but Miami made them pay. Moore threw a full-court pass to Miller who quickly hit an Isaiah Wong that finished by contact.
To their credit, Iowa State hit a 3-pointer on the next play and the Hurricanes got a little sloppy against the pressure. But the Cyclones just couldn’t get the parts to work to mount a comeback on the stretch.
With 1:50 remaining, Wong returned the favor and found Miller for an alley-oop and the celebration was on. The Hurricanes continued to push the pace in the final minutes and the Cyclones looked tired. Fittingly, McGusty completed the scoring with a quick layup to secure the 70-56 win and give Miami its best playoff finish in program history.
Miami fans threw the U as they celebrated this team’s Cinderella run.
While Iowa State owned the stat sheet in a number of categories, including rebounds and points off the bench — of which they had 24 to Miami’s zero — the Hurricanes scored points there. where it mattered. Their 21 assists, 11 steals and 14 points on turnovers are just some of the indicators of how the pace played out in this game.
Miami became the latest team to earn its ticket to the Elite Eight, joining fellow ACC teams No. 8 North Carolina and No. 2 Duke. They will now face No. 1 Kansas on Sunday at 2:20 p.m. ET. Addressing the conference’s success in the tournament, Larranaga said it was confirmation of the ACC’s strength.
“Throughout the season, I tried to explain, our league is really, really good. … And our games – we played about 17 or 18 games decided on last possession,” Larranaga said. There’s a reason for that. This opponent we were playing against was really good too. But very proud to be in the ACC.