AUSTIN, Texas -- While one of the two Florida teams in the Austin regional has earned a reputation for winning a huge number of blowout games, the other has earned attention for its ability to grind out the close ones.
And after Florida kept it up by pulling away from Minnesota in the first game, Miami arguably college basketball's biggest surprise team this season held true to form by fending off a feisty Illinois squad for a tight 63-59 win that sent the Hurricanes to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2000.
"We have been in this situation before," said Miami guard Trey McKinney Jones. "We know when to stick together. It happened in numerous games in the ACC Tournament. We had a few hiccups, but we just believe in each other. There was no point in the game that I think we were worried. We just stayed confident and finished the game."
At no point were the No. 2 seed Hurricanes (29-6) worried? The No. 7 seed Illini (23-13) had a one-point lead with ju...