Here lies the Miami Hurricanes basketball season, gone too soon.
March Madness ended for Jim Larranaga and his Hurricanes basketball team last night at 9:10. The cause of death was a disappointing 92-69 butt-stomping loss to the second-seeded Villanova Wildcats. The Canes will have to wait a year to get another crack at their first Elite Eight NCAA Tournament appearance. This one hurt.
Villanova jumped out to an early 8-0 lead, but from there out, both teams shot crazy-stupid-lights-out in the first half: Villanova at 64 percent, and Miami at 67 percent. Villanova took a six-point, 43-37 lead into the second half and never looked back.
Time after time, Miami would cut the Villanova lead to 10 or 11, only to see it balloon to 14 or 15 following a couple of incredible Villanova shots. The Canes finally ran into a team as equally long and disciplined — and with an incredible edge in the paint.
This night, Miami's grit and energy finally proved insufficient. Larranaga's squad finishes the season with a 27-8 record to go along with a Sweet 16 appearance — not too shabby by most schools' standards, but also not what the Hurricanes and their fans had in mind when the team entered March Madness.
So goodnight, sweet Hurricanes. Thank you for a wonderful season that made us forget about Al Golden. Thank you for giving us something other than the Miami Heat to care about for a few months. Thank you for helping us ignore Miami Marlins spring training as long as possible. Thank you for all the Coach Larranaga dancing videos and gifs. Thank you for a wonderful ride in 2016. See you next year.
The Miami Hurricanes have been eliminated from the NCAA Tournament. pic.twitter.com/IQbGSdWahj— SB Nation (@SBNation) March 25, 2016
Tip your cap, call them your daddy, recruit a bunch of studs --- go back at it again #Canes— David Lang (@DukieLang) March 25, 2016
Great season @CanesHoops ! Proud to be a Miami Hurricane!— BrianTheBeastLondon (@MiamiRadioBeast) March 25, 2016
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Great run for the `Canes. Eventually, they'll get over the Sweet 16 hump.— Shandel Richardson (@ShandelRich) March 25, 2016
Miami's loss is a here is a good thing. It means the Heat will beat the Cavs in the playoffs. Miami sports balance.— Josh Baumgard (@joshbaumgard) March 25, 2016
March Sadness— Boo Boo Clark (@FlowPulls80) March 25, 2016
I hate everything. And I hate sports. But, mostly, I hate sports.— Chris Joseph (@byChrisJoseph) March 25, 2016