Miami vs. Wichita State prediction and preview. Who’s Got Next analyzes the NCAA Tournament’s second round matchup between the Hurricanes and Shockers.
How they got here
How they got here: Miami (Fla.) beat No. 14 Buffalo 79-72; Wichita State beat No. 6 Arizona 65-55.
Why Miami will win
The Hurricanes are guard-driven, and when their backcourt is rolling, they are tough to beat. Angel Rodriguez and Sheldon McClellan combined for 44 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and four steals in the first round, and they don’t make many mistakes. When the backcourt is dealing and Miami’s frontcourt of Kamari Murphy and Tonye Jekiri are working the glass and protecting the rim, the Hurricanes’ transition game can get moving. If Miami (Fla.) runs and avoids turnovers, the team will be in good shape.
Why Wichita State will win
Look who’s back. Forget the fact the Shockers had to go through the First Four process. This is an experienced team who may have technically pulled off an upset over Arizona, but nobody was really shocked (pardon the pun). WSU plays tough defense, makes everyone work for everything on the floor, and has the balance to drive opponents crazy. Fred Van Vleet is one of the best point guards in the country, and forward Ron Baker is efficient on both ends. The challenge for the Shockers will be to match the athleticism of Miami’s guards, and they’ll need to play good positional defense while controlling the tempo to neutralize the ‘Canes’ advantage in quickness.
Miami vs. Wichita State Prediction
Miami (Fla.) has been good this season, but Wichita’s poise and experience make the Shockers dangerous. They won’t back down against anyone, and Van Vleet and Baker aren’t ready for their seasons to be over. WSU heads to the Sweet 16.
Miami vs. Wichita State Final Score Prediction: Wichita State 73, Miami (Fla.) 69.