After beating Drake University on Friday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, No. 5 Miami will make a quick turnaround and play No. 4 Indiana on Sunday at 8:40 p.m. at MVP Arena in Albany, N.Y.
It’ll be the first time in 22 years that the two teams have matched up against each other, and it comes in the second round of the biggest stage in college basketball.
“At this time of year, it’s survive and advance, and we were grateful and excited that we do get to advance,” Miami guard Harlond Beverly said.
Indiana came into Albany as the highest seed in the city’s Midwest sub-regional, and rightfully so. In its first-round matchup against Kent State, Indiana showed interior dominance thanks to NCAA All-American Trayce Jackson-Davis. The senior forward scored 24 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, dished out five assists and had five blocks. The performance is the first in 25 years to tally at least 20 points, ten boards, five blocks and five assists with zero fouls.
“We know they come to him every possession, and he’s going to be a big challenge for me,” Miami forward Norchad Omier said when asked about Jackson-Davis. “I’m excited for it, if I’m being honest. He’s a great player.”
The Hoosiers also have Big Ten Freshman of the Year Jalen Hood-Schifino, who is a 6-foot-6 combo guard. He averages 13.3 points and 3.7 assists per game. Additionally, Indiana has two guards, Miller Koop and Trey Galloway, who shoot north of 44 percent from deep.
“[We’re] looking out and closing out on their shooters from the perimeter and their freshman point guard, Jalen Hood, he’s really good,” Miami guard Bensley Joseph said. “[We need to] apply pressure and making forced mistakes.”
Placing physical pressure certainly worked for Miami when it did so against the Bulldogs. UM forced 12 Drake turnovers, many of which came in the game’s final five minutes and propelled its 16-1 point run and return. Many of the baskets came in transition, and Hurricanes head coach Jim Larrañaga believes that being disruptive and breaking into transition will bring success against Indiana.
“I believe that our best offense is transition,” Miami head coach Jim Larrañaga said. “We want to run, and we want to keep them from running.”
Indiana’s loss in the Big 10 Tournament was against Penn State, a team that’s strengths lie in with its guards, like Miami with star guards Nijel Pack and ACC Player of the Year Isaiah Wong.
“They’re perimeter driven,” Indiana head coach Mike Woodson said about the ‘Canes. “They’ve got perimeter play that sits at the top of college basketball. There’s a number of guys that we’ve got to focus in on and lock in and play them for 40 minutes.”
The Round of 32 matchup will air on TNT.