And so ends Miami's season.
No. 11 seed Loyola-Chicago's Donte Ingram hit a buzzer-beating three to defeat the sixth-seeded Hurricanes 64-62 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and end Miami's season on Thursday.
Coming out of halftime tied 28-28, Miami opened the second half on an 11-4 run to take the lead for good. Loyola kept the game within single digits with timely shots, but the Hurricanes managed to keep hold of their lead for most of the second half.
And then Loyola Chicago made it interesting in the waning moments. The Ramblers tied the game with a minute left on a three-point shot from Clayton Custer, forced Lonnie Walker to turn the ball over with less than 30 seconds left with Miami up by two points as the Ramblers attempted to foul and then rebounded off Walker’s missed free thorw attempt with less than 8 seconds left, drove the ball down the court and sealed the game with the buzzer-beater.
It was another high-energy, down-to-the-wire game — just like each of the four games Miami won to close out the regular season.
This time, though, the last-second shot did not favor the Hurricanes. Their season ends as a result.
Walker led Miami with 12 points, while Ja'Quan Newton and Dewan Huell each scored 11.
Miami, which was as high as No. 6 in the AP top 25 poll earlier this season, finishes the season 22-10. Loyola-Chicago will face No. 3 Tennessee on Saturday.
5:13 p.m.: Tie game. One minute left. Miami calls timeout after Clayton Custer’s game-tying three-pointer
5:12: Miami’s Anthony Lawrence fouls out. Hurricanes are holding on to a 60-57 lead with 1:50 left to play.
5:05 p.m.: It’s been close, yes, but Miami has maintained its lead for the duration of the second half. The Hurricanes lead Loyola-Chicago 57-55 with 3:28 left to play. But like most of Miami’s games have been as of late, this one will likely come down to the wire. Dewan Huell will shoot two free throws after the timeout.
4:55 p.m.: At the under-eight timeout, Miami leads Loyola 53-51. The teams have traded a pair of three-point shots over the past 70 seconds. 7:38 left to play
4:46 p.m.: The Hurricanes needed players to step up in the second half. So far, Ja’Quan Newton and Chris Lykes have done just that. The two have combined for 9 of Miami’s 15 points in the first eight-plus minutes of the second half. Dewan Huell, meanwhile, is on double-double watch (8 points, 6 rebounds). Miami leads 43-40 with 11:57 left to play.
4:34 p.m.: Miami slowly but surely is starting to find its groove. The Hurricanes are on a 7-0 run and now lead Loyola Chicago 39-32 with 15:46 left to play. The run has been fueled by Dewan Huell dunk, a Chris Lykes three-pointer, and a Ja’Quan Newton layup that was dished to him by Lykes. The Hurricanes need to sustain this momentum.
4:15 p.m.: A few thoughts while we’re in the break.
Miami needs to build off the momentum it gained late in the first half, namely from the last-second jumper from DJ Vasiljevic to tie the game heading into the break. Both teams have gone through scoring droughts, but the Hurricanes will need to limit those slumps against a Loyola team looking for the upset win.
A few highlight stats: Loyola-Chicago is out-assisting Miami 8-3, both teams have 7 turnovers (Miami has scored just 5 points off those 7 turnovers it has forced)
Seven Miami players have scored, but no one is truly taking over the game. Someone, anyone, will need to make that type of impact in the second half.
4:06 p.m.: Miami and Loyola are going into halftime tied 28-28. Lonnie Walker, Ja’Quan Newton and Chris Lykes have 5 points each for Miami, which is shooting 50 percent from the field. Cameron Krutwig leads Loyola with 8 points.
3:53 p.m.: After a long scoring drought for both teams, Loyola scored four quick points to take a 24-20 lead with 3:35 left in the first half. Marques Townes capped the run heading into the media timeout by grabbing a defensive rebound, going coast-to-coast and converting a driving layup. Miami is shooting just 8-17 from the field (47.1 percent). Loyola is 11-20 (55 percent).
3:46 p.m.: According to truTV’s sideline reporter, Hurricanes coach Jim Larranaga told his players the follwoing in the huddle during the Under-8 timeout: "Guys we need stops. We need to play defense. We need to get rebounds so we can run." Meanwhile, the Hurricanes tied it up at 20-20 on a three-point play from Ja’Quan Newton with 6:36 left in the first half.
3:41 p.m.: Miami trails 18-15 at the under-8 timeout (7:40). Lonnie Walker with five points, including a nice three-pointer that bounced straight up off the rim and in, but the Hurricanes’ offense has been relatively quiet otherwise. On the defensive side, Miami needs to find an answer for Cameron Krutwig. The 6-foot-9, 260 pound center already has 6 points in the early going. The game’s still close, but Miami will need to go on a run soon to get the momentum in its favor.
3:33 p.m.: Under-12 media timeout (11:36): Miami trails 14-10. The Hurricanes with some really sloppy possessions over the past few minutes. Three straight turnovers and no shot attempts from the field at one point before a Ebuka Izundu layup ended a five-minute shooting drought.
3:23 p.m.: Miami trails Loyola-Chicago 10-6 at the under-16 media timeout of the first half (15:31). The Ramblers are 4-5 from the field and 2-3 from 3-point range. Hurricanes will need to step up on the defensive end.
3:18 p.m.: Game on.
3:12 p.m.: Miami’s starting lineup: Chris Lykes, Ja’Quan Newton, Lonnie Walker, Anthony Lawrence and Dewan Huell. We’re a few minutes away from tipoff. The blog will be updated at each timeout with score updates and analysis, along with some extended thoughts at halftime.
Pregame: It’s all about to begin.
The No. 6 seed Miami Hurricanes open NCAA Tournament play against Loyola-Chicago on Thursday, with tipoff from Dallas’ American Airlines Center set for 3:17 p.m., with the winner facing No. 3 seed Tennessee on Saturday. The game will be televised on truTV, with a live stream available online at the NCAA website.
The Hurricanes (22-9), winners of four straight to close out the regular season before a rough 82-65 loss to North Carolina in the ACC Tournament, are officially on upset watch as they open March Madness against a team that has been pegged as one of this year’s potential Cinderellas.
For coach Jim Larranaga and his team, though, the focus is on surviving, advancing and hopefully making it to the Sweet 16 for the fourth time in program history and second time in the last three years.
We’ll provide live updates here once the game gets underway.
In case you missed our past coverage or want a refresher before the game begins, here’s a look at what beat writer Michelle Kaufman and columnist Greg Cote have written heading into the matchup: