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Bad Start, Big Hole Lead to End of Miami’s Final Four Run

HOUSTON (AP) — Miami earned its way to the Final Four in part by having one of the nation’s best offenses with multiple options for hitting big shots.

That unit never got going in time to extend the Hurricanes’ terrific postseason run to the final Monday night of the season.

The Hurricanes couldn’t finish drives, missed jumpers and clanged 3-pointers off the rim in a frustrating first half that put them in a double-digit deficit against Connecticut. And they spent the rest of the night desperately trying to climb out of that hole, all the way to the finish in a 72-59 loss in Saturday night’s national semifinals.

But the Hurricanes (29-8) made just 9 of 36 shots (25%) in the opening 20 minutes, a brutal start that kept them from building any momentum or putting much pressure on UConn. That included forward Norchad Omier having a scoreless first half.

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Alex Karaban’s 3-pointer at the horn pushed UConn to a 37-24 lead at halftime, setting the stage for the Hurricanes to spend the rest of the night in catch-up mode.

They pushed the ball in transition and off turnovers to build some momentum. But they never got closer than eight points, briefly, after halftime and never seriously threatened to derail what has been a dominant five-game run for the Huskies in the NCAAs.

By the end of the night, Miami had shot just 32% while having just Isaiah Wong (15 points) and Jordan Miller (11) hit double figures as the Hurricanes’ run ran out of steam.

AP March Madness coverage: and bracket: and -25-college-basketball-poll and

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