The Miami Hurricanes enter March Madness as a No. 5 seed in the Midwest region, slated to take on No. 12 Drake in a trendy upset matchup for fans. The 5-12 seed line usually results in some upsets every season, so is Miami due for a letdown after having a strong season in the ACC?
One thing complicating matters for the Hurricanes is the injury to Norchad Omier. He suffered an ankle injury in the ACC tournament and although he didn’t have any bone damage, the school has not updated his status.
2023 March Madness bracket: Norchad Omier injury
What to do if Omier is out
Omier is averaging 13.6 points and 9.7 rebounds per game for Miami this season. The Hurricanes have other scoring options, but they are thin in the frontcourt behind Omier. If he’s out, Drake could exploit Miami’s lack of depth with second-chance opportunities. It might be wise to still take the Hurricanes but they’re more vulnerable with Omier out.
What to do if Omier is in
Omier could be limited if he does suit up, but he gives Miami a massive boost on the interior. In these 5-12 games, the mid-major teams usually shoots the ball extremely well for an upset. Having a force on the interior slows the impact of any potential bombardment down. Miami is a much easier choice if Omier is in.
How far should you have Miami going in your bracket?
I have the Hurricanes advancing out of this game and going to the Sweet 16 before losing to Houston. If Omier is out, there’s a chance the Hurricanes fall to Indiana in a potential round of 32 matchup. Either way, I don’t see Miami getting past the Sweet 16 regardless of Omier’s status.