Miami men earn No. 3 seed


Players, coaches and fans gathered at The Rathskeller on the University of Miami Coral Gables campus for a celebration to watch Selection Sunday on CBS.

Selection Sunday

The Canes wait for the tournament bid to be extended (Photo by Wyatt Geller).

Before the show started, head coach Jim Larranaga stood up and told the crowd to cheer loudly when the team got announced on the big screen that can display up to four sporting events.

Even when a team knows that it will be in the tournament, it is always exciting to hear your name called while 67 other teams are waiting for their placement. In addition, the Canes were shown on screen getting fired up when they found out they were heading to Providence.

As projected by ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi, the Miami Hurricanes men’s basketball team  received a No. 3 seed for the NCAA tournament or what is most commonly referred to as “March Madness.”

The road ahead will not be easy for the Canes, as they were placed in the South Region that is arguably the most difficult section of the draw led at the top by Big 12 champions and the No. 1 overall seed in the entire tournament Kansas.

Miami will be up against the No. 14 seed Buffalo in the second round and fans can watch that game on Thursday at 6:50 p.m. on TNT.

I see an experienced Miami team that is capable of controlling this game and winning by low double digits.

If they win Thursday, the third round action on Saturday is where the Canes will face their first true test where they will play the winner of Arizona and Wichita State.

Arizona, who made the Elite 8 last season, battled top seeded Oregon in the PAC 12 semifinals but fell in overtime. Wichita State is led by seniors Ron Baker and Fred VanVleet, as they made it to the Elite 8 in 2013 and finished the 2014 season 35-1 after losing to Kentucky in the third round.

The Canes should be able to overcome a tight matchup and advance to the Sweet 16 for the second time in team history.

I predict they will square off with No. 2 seed Villanova in an instant classic and win this one in overtime.  The Canes will be able to withstand the pressure and reach the Elite Eight for the first time in team history.

Many people believe a championship run is possible for this team, and I do think the Canes have the tools to compete for the title.  However, Kansas has shown no weak point on their team for Miami to take advantage of.  Hopefully, my projection is wrong and the Canes can advance to the Final Four.

It is complicated to put together a formula for success in March.  Tenacity and determination is what drives many teams toward success during March Madness.  That is what builds so many upsets along the way.

The Canes will need to be prepared to play their best basketball every game now, because there is no tomorrow to improve after a loss until next season.

It is win or go home.