March Madness 2023: Miami routs Houston, knocking out final No. 1 seed to make second straight Elite Eight


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Miami is heading to the Elite Eight for a second straight season after upsetting No. 1 seed Houston 89-75 in the Sweet 16 on Friday night. The No. 5 seed Hurricanes will play either Xavier or Texas on Sunday in the Midwest Regional final as the program strives for its first-ever Final Four appearance.

The ‘Canes built a 42-36 halftime lead and only stepped on the gas from there, building their advantage to as much as 17 in the second half against a Houston defense that simply had no answers for Miami’s dynamic guards. Nigel Pack led Miami, which limited its turnovers and repeatedly knocked down timely 3-pointers.

Houston made 7 of 17 attempts from 3-point range in the first half but went cold in the second half from beyond the arc while struggling to keep up with the fast-paced Hurricanes. Houston entered ranked No. 342 of 363 nationally in adjusted tempo, according to, but Miami dictated the pace of the game by playing in transition with its small-ball lineup. While Houston did a good job of limiting its turnovers in the second half, the Hurricanes still dominated in points off turnovers for the game by capitalizing on the Cougars’ rare miscues.

The loss is particularly crushing for Houston because the Cougars had a chance to play in their home city had they reached the Final Four. The outcome sends an already wonky bracket into utter chaos as all No. 1 seeds have now been eliminated before the Elite Eight for the first time since NCAA Tournament seeding began in 1979.  

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