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Hurricanes, Illini collide in third-round affair

Austin, TX (Sports Network) - Seeking their first trip to the Sweet 16 since 2000, the second-seed Miami-Florida Hurricanes will clash with the seventh- seed Illinois Fighting Illini in the third round of the NCAA Tournament's East Regional at the Erwin Center on Sunday.

Illinois managed to rally past 10th-seed Colorado in the round of 64 on Friday to get to the third round. The last time the Illini managed to earn more than one win in the Big Dance was during their run to the national title game during the 2005 season. Illinois' 30 appearances in this event all-time are the second most by a Big Ten school behind the East Region's No. 1 seed Indiana, which the Illini earned a win against earlier this season.

After a surprise run to the ACC regular season and tournament titles, the Hurricanes showed they deserved to be a top two seed in the second round with a 78-49 romp over 15th-seed Pacific. The win was the fifth straight for the Hurricanes who have gotten back on track after stumbling with losses to Wake Forest and Georgia Tech in the last few games of the regular season. As the second seed, Miami is making its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2008. The Hurricanes will attempt to reverse their tournament history though, as they have never made it past the Sweet 16.

These teams met for the first and only time way back during the 1968-69 season when Illinois captured a victory. The victor of this contest gets to challenge either third-seed Marquette or sixth-seed Butler in the Sweet 16.

Trailing by five points with just under 10 minutes remaining, Illinois finally began to find a rhythm on offense and ripped off a 16-2 run down the stretch to pull away for the win against Colorado. Brandon Paul finished with a game- high 17 points, but netted just 3-of-12 shots from the field in doing so.

Paul (16.6 ppg) is an explosive scorer out of the backcourt and will certainly have the ball in his hands more often than not on Sunday. Though the senior guard is averaging 19.4 points per game in the last five contests, he has connected on just 5-of-25 shots in the last two outings. D.J. Richardson (12.5 ppg) and Tracy Abrams (10.7 ppg) are both solid backcourt scorers as well for Illinois. A weakness for the Illini is their efficiency on offense, ranking just ninth in the Big Ten in field-goal percentage (.413). Rebounding is also a weak spot where they rank 10th in the Big Ten (33.6 rpg).

Miami was simply the better team in just about every area against Pacific. The Hurricanes held the Tigers to just 33.3 percent shooting and 18 total field goals in the contest and had a 41-28 edge on the boards. Durand Scott led the way with 21 points on 6-of-10 shooting.

Scott (13.5 ppg) has been erratic down the stretch as he had a 32-point outing during the ACC Tournament but has failed to get in double figures in three of the last five games. Shane Larkin (14.6 ppg, 4.4 apg, 2.0 spg) didn't need to play at his normal high level on Friday as he had just 10 points on 2-of-8 shooting. The sophomore guard was tabbed the ACC Tournament MVP and 2013 Coaches ACC Player of the Year and is certainly capable of carrying the Hurricanes, as he had scored at least 20 points in five of the previous seven games. Trey McKinney Jones (9.4 ppg) adds versatility in the backcourt, while forward Kenny Kadji (13.3 ppg, 7.0 rpg) is a tough matchup in the frontcourt with an ability to spread the floor and score inside and out.

03/23 12:24:56 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
CAR
 
Final
NYY 5
BAL 0
Final
CLE 0
KAN 2
Final
TOR 14
SEA 4
Final
DET 0
CWS 2
Final
ATL 0
PIT 1
Final
TEX 4
HOU 3
Final
CHC 0
STL 8
Final
MIN 2
ARI 6
7th
OAK 6
ANA 1
 
8th
SDP 1
COL 0
 
8th
LOS 2
SFG 2
 
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
BAL
 
7:05pm Tonight
CLE
KAN
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
NYM
 
7:07pm Tonight
TOR
SEA
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CWS
 
7:10pm Tonight
CIN
MIL
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
PHI
 
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
PIT
 
7:10pm Tonight
BOS
TAM
 
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
HOU
 
8:05pm Tonight
CHC
STL
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
ARI
 
10:05pm Tonight
OAK
ANA
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
COL
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
SFG
 
Final
NYI 3
OTT 2
 
6:00pm Monday
NYI
OTT
 
Final
PIT 1
DET 2
Final
NYR 4
NJD 5
Final
PHI 2
TOR 3
 
Final
PHI 5
WAS 4
Final
WIN 2
MIN 1
Final
DAL 4
STL 3
Final
COL 2
ANA 5
Final
ANA 4
COL 0
2nd Intermission
ARI 4
LOS 4
 
3rd
LOS 3
ARI 1
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
CAR
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
PIT
 
7:30pm Tonight
MON
BOS
 
7:30pm Tonight
TAM
NAS
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
PHI
 
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
DET
 
9:00pm Tonight
VAN
SJS
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
ARI
 
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
VAN
 
Final
NYJ 19
CHI 27