The No. 5 Miami Hurricanes take on the No. 2 Texas Longhorns in an Elite Eight matchup on Sunday, March 26. The game will air on CBS at 5:05 p.m. ET from the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City.
No. 5 Miami (28-7, 15-5 ACC)
First round result: Defeated Drake, 63-56
Second round result: Defeated Indiana, 85-69
Third round result: Defeated Houston, 89-75
KenPom rating: 39 Overall, 12 Offense, 132 Defense
NET ranking: 35, (5-5 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Isaiah Wong, 16.2 ppg
Key stat: 13.3 fast break points per game (23rd in the nation)
Miami got it done against Houston in the Sweet Sixteen, knocking out the final No. 1 left in the tournament. They didn’t let the Cougars control the pace of the game, keeping things moving quickly, which was the key to their win over a team that limited opponents to the second-lowest average score in the nation this season. Nijel Pack finished with 26 points to Isaiah Wong’s 20, and the Hurricanes were 51.7% from the field and 44% from the three. They stepped it up on defense, as well, limiting the Cougars to just 37.5% from the field, largely with the help of big man Norchad Omier.
No. 2 Texas (29-8, 12-6 Big XII)
First round result: Defeated Colgate, 81-61
Second round result: Defeated Penn State, 71-66
Third round result: Defeated Xavier, 83-71
KenPom rating: 7 Overall, 18 Offense, 11 Defense
NET ranking: 7, (14-8 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Marcus Carr, 15.9 ppg
Key stat: Averages 77.9 ppg (39th in the nation)
Texas is the highest seed remaining in the tournament now, which seems like a bad omen given what has happened to the other No. 1 and 2 seeds. The Longhorns easily dispatched Xavier in the Elite Eight, led by Tyrese Hunter’s 19 points. He was followed by Marcus Carr and Christian Bishop with 18 each. The ‘Horns were 52.5% from the field and 58.3% from the perimeter on Friday.
Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook
Point spread: Texas -4
Point total: 149.5
Moneyline: Texas -180, Miami +155
Against The Spread Pick: Miami +4
Point total pick: Over 149.5
Pick to Win: Texas
This Miami team is not to be overlooked on the road to the Final Four. Their confidence and momentum will be at an all-time high after taking down Houston in a dominant, fast performance. The Longhorns can win this one if they stay on their toes and if Marcus Carr continues to create space and gets good looks against a tough Canes defense.