March 24, 2013; Austin, TX, USA – Ensuing a dream 2012-2013 season for the Miami Hurricanes (29-7, 15-3), the Canes faced serious trouble in the NCAA tournament, taking on Illinois (23-13, 8-10) in a Round of 32 matchup
An ACC Tournament Championship helped Jim Larrañaga and the Canes claim a 2 seed in the NCAA tourney. After a crushing 78-49 victory against Pacific, Miami was set to take on the Fighting Illini.
Both squads battled out from the jump, with Miami claiming a 29-26 lead at the half. Nonetheless, the Hurricanes’ ACC player of the year stepped up huge to claim Miami victorious.
Shane Larkin hit a go-ahead three-pointer to close a 63-59 victory for the Canes as they advanced to the Sweet 16 for their first time since 2000.
Down 54-55, Larkin hit a step-back three to give Miami a 2-point advantage with 1:00 remaining. Larkin hadn’t hit a shot 9 1/2 minutes before making what would be a game-saving make.
Finishing with 17 points and 5 assists, Miami’s only non-senior came in clutch to secure Coach Larrañaga a spot to the Sweet 16 in just his second year with the Canes.
“My teammates did a great job believing in me the whole game,” said Larkin. “I just stepped back and shot the 3, and it went in.”
Guard Rion Brown was big for the Canes off the bench, scoring 21 points on 7-14 shooting, hitting 5-threes and adding 5 rebounds.
Big-man Kenny Kadji grabbed a team-high 8 rebounds along with his 10 points. Miami ended up shooting 22-55 (40.0%) overall and 9-25 (36.0%) from deep.
Round 4 Regional Semifinals did not go Miami’s way however, falling to Marquette, 61-51, as the Golden Eagles advanced to the Elite 8.
Despite the end result to their season, Miami’s 12’-13’ campaign was almost unarguably the Hurricanes’ greatest run in program history.