UM men

Miami Hurricanes’ upset of Duke spurs long night of celebration

 

Canes coach Jim Larranaga got a standing ovation at a restaurant and 12 interview requests after UM beat Duke.

mkaufman@MiamiHerald.com

Here are some things University of Miami basketball coach Jim Larranaga learned in the aftermath of the Hurricanes’ historic 27-point win over top-ranked Duke Wednesday night:

It’s impossible to sleep after such a win, so he didn’t. Not even one wink.

Larranaga, 20 friends and some team members celebrated at Sports Grill in South Miami, and were greeted by a standing ovation. Larranaga walked around the restaurant shaking hands with every table. When he got home, he turned on the DVR and watched the ESPN broadcast of the game with his wife, Liz. “I wanted to listen to what people were saying about us,’’ he said.

His son, Jon, who was staying with them, asked for a 4:15 a.m. wakeup call to make his early morning flight. “After Jon left for the airport, I tried to sleep, but couldn’t, so I started working on FSU,’’ Larranaga said.

The 25th-ranked Hurricanes (14-3, 5-0 ACC) play the Seminoles at home on Sunday at 6 p.m., and the game was sold out less than 12 hours after the students stormed the floor following the Duke win. It is the first time in school history they get back-to-back sellouts.

Larranaga had 12 interview requests Thursday, local and national, and by 6 p.m., he was running on fumes.

He was thrilled to hear that the Heat had flashed the UM-Duke scores on the AmericanAirlines Arena Jumbotron during its overtime win over the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night. They showed footage of UM students storming the floor, and Heat fans roared and flashed the “U’’ symbol.

He also was delighted to see replays of the Canes’ highlights on ESPN’s SportsCenter all day Thursday. For a school that has a hard time luring top basketball recruits, there is no greater publicity.

“All of this means we’re headed in the right direction,’’ Larranaga said. “It’s very exciting. That kind of enthusiasm can keep growing, which is what I was hoping for when I took this job.’’

The coach was also let in on a little secret after the game. He learned that when his players slapped the floor in the second half, a longtime Duke tradition used to pump up the team, it was at the request of UM alum and NFL great Warren Sapp, who was seated behind the ESPN broadcasters in the stands. UM guard Shane Larkin said Sapp called his name out, and yelled, “Slap the floor on D!’’ Who’s going to argue with Sapp?

“I just heard somebody scream my name, and I look over and it’s Warren Sapp, which is crazy,’’ Larkin said, smiling. “He told me to slap the floor on D, so we did. And it worked. I think we got a stop on the next play.’’

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