Illini's season ends at hands of No. 2 Miami

Illini's season ends at hands of No. 2 Miami
March 25, 2013, 12:00 am
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Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) There was no question about Shane Larkin's go-ahead 3-pointer for Miami.

The ball that appeared to ricochet off the hands of Miami's Kenny Kadji seconds later but went to the Hurricanes - well, look at the replay.

Regardless, there is no overturning the fact that the Hurricanes are going to the NCAA round of 16 for only the second time in school history.

The Hurricanes got Larkin's big shot and the close call, holding on for a 63-59 victory over Illinois on Sunday night in the East Regional.

"I mean, I don't know. It was so many hands, you know. I don't know who touched it last," Kadji said while seemingly trying to suppress a smile. "Everybody was getting out there and there was a couple of hands. So I really don't know."

After Larkin's first field goal in about 9 1/2 minutes, D.J. Richardson missed a 3-pointer. In the fight for the rebound was the ball that looked like it hit Kadji's extended hand. But the Hurricanes kept the ball, and Durand Scott made two free throws after that.

"You saw the same video I did," first-year Illinois coach John Groce said. He added, "hard game to officiate ... 50-50 calls are hard sometimes."

In postgame news conference, Groce cut off any questions about the play to his players.

Miami (29-6), the No. 2 seed, advanced to play Marquette (25-8) in Washington D.C. on Thursday night.

Larkin, the only non-senior starter for Miami and the ACC player of the year, finished with 17 points.

On the late 3, Larkin had other ideas against a suffocating Illinois defense. He was cut off when he tried to drive to the basket.

"I just stepped back and shot the 3, and it went in," Larkin said.

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