McGusty, ‘Canes come up short as NCAA runs ends in Elite 8

Mar 27, 2022, 4:03 AM | Updated: 4:06 pm
Miami's Kameron McGusty sits on the bench during the second half of a college basketball game in th...

Miami's Kameron McGusty sits on the bench during the second half of a college basketball game in the Elite 8 round of the NCAA tournament Sunday, March 27, 2022, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

CHICAGO (AP) — Miami’s Kameron McGusty slapped hands with teammate Bensley Joseph on the way off the court and embraced teammate Charlie Moore and coach Jim Larrañaga in a long three-way hug by the scorer’s table.

With a few minutes remaining, they all knew the Hurricanes’ season was over.

Instead of a trip to the Final Four, 10th-seeded Miami (26-11) got run over in the second half and knocked out by top-seeded Kansas 76-50 in the Midwest Region final on Sunday.

“It’s definitely very frustrating,” said McGusty, who scored 18 points. “More than anything, it just hurts because this is a close-knit group of guys. … We just have such a special season. Being able to accomplish the things we did this year — to lose, it just hurts. We’ve done a lot. We’ve gotten so close. I’m gonna miss playing with these guys.”

Miami had never advanced past the Sweet 16. That changed when the Hurricanes beat Iowa State on Friday.

A sixth-year senior who played two seasons at Oklahoma before transferring to Miami, McGusty did all he could to keep this run going.

He was locked in through the first 20 minutes, scoring 14 points as the Hurricanes grabbed a 35-29 lead. From there, everything changed.

Kansas took McGusty out of his rhythm with a box-and-one defense and outscored Miami 47-15 over the final 20 minutes to advance to the Final Four for the 16th time.

“The first half I was very comfortable,” McGusty said. “I was able to get to my spots. My teammates were looking for me. They know when I see a couple go in that I can have a big night. So they just kept feeding me the ball. The coaches kept calling plays for me. And it was all working out.”

While Kansas turned its attention toward a semifinal matchup with Villanova in New Orleans, Miami is looking ahead after a bitter ending to an otherwise sweet season.

“Just knowing it’s the last time on the floor, probably take a minute after we settle down and everything,” said Moore, Miami’s veteran point guard. “I just love these guys. I’m happy for the season we had. I’m just excited for the season we’ve had, to be honest.”

The Hurricanes managed to jump into the spotlight at a school where football has dominated for decades.

“They accomplished so much,” Larrañaga said. “Not just in basketball, but they ignited a community. We had so much support throughout the season and especially in the NCAA Tournament.”

Larrañaga once led George Mason on a gripping Final Four run and now has an Elite Eight and two other Sweet 16 appearances in 11 seasons at Miami. That’s no small accomplishment at a school that didn’t have a basketball team from 1971 to 1985.

As far as the Hurricanes are concerned, this is just a start. They see bigger things coming.

Miami was hurt in recent years by an FBI investigation into corruption in college basketball that raised questions about Larrañaga’s program, though no wrongdoing by him surfaced. The team endured three straight losing seasons and went 10-17 a year ago before making a huge jump.

The arrival of Moore, who started games at California, Kansas and DePaul before transferring, gave the Hurricanes a steady hand at point guard and helped lift the program.

Getting forward Sam Waardenburg back for a sixth season after he sat out last year because of a foot injury was another boost.

So was McGusty’s decision to return after declaring for last year’s NBA draft.

He wound up earning first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors and helped Miami finish with its third-highest win total.

“I told all the younger guys in the locker room, I told them I loved them,” McGusty said. “I told them to take care of this place for the next three years that y’all are here.”


More AP coverage of March Madness: and and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Los Angeles Angels Shohei Ohtani flies out during the first inning of the team's baseball game agai...
Associated Press

Ohtani vs. Judge the latest of baseball’s great MVP races

When Shohei Ohtani is pitching impressively and hitting over 30 homers, he might always be the MVP favorite unless another player in his league comes up with something awfully special. Like hitting 60 home runs, for example. Ohtani vs. Aaron Judge for the American League MVP figures to be the most hotly debated postseason award […]
1 day ago
Chase Elliott (9) has his tire catch fire as Martin Truex Jr. (19) and Corey LaJoie (7) drive past ...
Associated Press

Tumultuous, tiring start to NASCAR’s round of 12 at Texas

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Chase Elliott was leading at Texas when a right rear tire issue led to hard contact with the wall and a fiery finish to his day, knocking him from the top of the playoff standings. After the caution lights came on when another front-running car had tire problems, Denny Hamlin […]
1 day ago
New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) is helped off the field after suffering a leg injur...
Associated Press

Analysis: Backups, be ready. NFL’s QB carousel is spinning

The NFL’s quarterback carousel may start spinning a bit faster. Mac Jones, Tua Tagovailoa and Josh Allen got banged-up Sunday. Justin Herbert and Jameis Winston played hurt. Already, Dak Prescott and Trey Lance have gone down. Backups, be ready. Jones’ leg injury appears most serious. The second-year pro hopped off the field late in the […]
1 day ago
Kansas tight end Trevor Kardell (45) is chased by Duke defensive back Joshua Pickett (26) as he run...
Associated Press

AP Top 25 Reality Check: Unbeaten Kansas left out again

Not quite, Kansas. A 4-0 start put the Jayhawks atop the others receiving votes pile Sunday in The Associated Press college football poll presented by Regions Bank, 41 points behind No. 25 Kansas State. The Jayhawks have not been ranked since mid-October 2009, a dry spell of nearly 13 years that is currently the longest […]
1 day ago
California running back Jaydn Ott, left, runs the ball for a 73-yard touchdown against Arizona duri...
Associated Press

STAT WATCH: Ott’s 274 yards rushing for Cal FBS season high

California freshman Jaydn Ott turned in the best rushing performance of the season with 274 yards and three touchdowns on just 19 carries against Arizona. Ott had TD runs of 73, 72 and 18 yards Saturday while running for the most yards since Tyrion Davis-Price of LSU went for 287 on 36 carries against Florida […]
1 day ago
United States' Ariel Atkins shoots at goal as South Korea's Kim Danbi , left, attempts to block dur...
Associated Press

US has record performance in 145-69 rout of South Korea

SYDNEY (AP) — A’ja Wilson and the U.S. put on quite a show, breaking the World Cup scoring mark in a record rout of South Korea. Brionna Jones scored 24 points and Wilson added 20 to help the U.S. beat South Korea 145-69 on Monday. Shakira Austin’s layup with 9 seconds left helped the Americans […]
1 day ago
McGusty, ‘Canes come up short as NCAA runs ends in Elite 8