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NCAA Tournament Pregame Notes: Miami vs. Drake

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Photo Credit: Miami Athletics

In preparation for Friday night’s NCAA Tournament matchup between Miami and Drake, LifeWallet Sports has compiled these notes and statistics to watch out for ahead of the game.

Miami:

  • This is Miami’s 12th NCAA Tournament appearance, marking only the fourth time it has done so in consecutive seasons.
  • The only other time UM was a No. 5 seed, it lost to No. 12 Missouri, 93-80, in the first round of the 2022 NCAA Tournament.
  • Miami has an 11-11 all-time tournament record.
  • In 2022, the Hurricanes made the Elite Eight for the first time in program history after wins over USC, Auburn and Iowa State.
  • With a win over Drake, Miami would advance to the Round of 32 for the seventh time in program history. 
  • The Hurricanes are 6-5 all-time in first-round NCAA Tournament games.
  • In his 12 seasons as Miami’s head coach, Jim Larrañaga has the most wins in program history (251) has led the Hurricanes to three of their four Sweet 16 berths and the program’s two ACC regular-season titles and lone ACC tournament championship.
  • Isaiah Wong is just the second Hurricane ever to win ACC Player of the Year (Shane Larkin, 2012-13). UM has the fourth-most wins in the ACC during this 12-season stretch.
  • Miami won 16 games at home this season, a program best.
  • This is the first time that Miami and Drake will match up against each other.
  • Miami’s last game against a team from the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) was when it lost to Loyola-Chicago in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament.
  • This will be Nijel Pack and Norchad Omier’s first NCAA Tournament appearance. Miami’s three other projected starters – Isaiah Wong, Jordan Miller and Wooga Poplar – played in UM’s tournament run last season.

Drake:

  • With a record of 27-8, Drake is only one win away from tying the program-best 28 wins it totaled during the 2007-08 season. 
  • Drake has won 13 of its last 14 games, including a three-game run in the MVC Tournament in which the Bulldogs won each matchup by an average of 17 points.
  • Tucker DeVries, son of head coach Darian DeVries, won the 2023 MVC Larry Bird Trophy, awarded to the conference’s most outstanding player. DeVries, who’s averaged 19 points per game this season, was also named to the All-MVC 1st Team and was the MVC Tournament Doug Elgin Most Outstanding Player.
  • Sixth-year point guard Roman Penn, who started his collegiate career at Siena College – less than five miles away the site of Friday’s tournament game – leads the MVC with 5.3 assists per game this year.
  • At 6-foot-3, guard Garrett Sturtz is Drake’s all-time leading rebounder with 916 rebounds.
  • Sturtz is also sixth all-time in program history in career steals with 177 takeaways.
  • This will be Drake’s first game against an ACC opponent since Dec. 11, 2021, when it lost to Clemson in overtime, 90-80.
  • Drake is 23-3 this season when three or more players score in double figures.
  • Drake’s starting lineup is older than that of five NBA teams.
  • Bulldogs head coach Darian DeVries was named a finalist for the 2022-23 Jim Phelan National Coach of the Year award.

Statistical Comparison:

Points Per Game

Miami: 79.4

Drake: 75.3

Field Goal Percentage

Miami: 48.6%

Drake: 47.0%

Free Throw Percentage 

Miami: 77.6%

Drake: 76.9%

3-point Percentage Per Game

Miami: 36.8%

Drake: 37.3%

Total Rebounds Per Game

Miami: 31.9

Drake: 33.5

Assists Per Game

Miami: 14.9

Drake: 13.6

Turnovers Per Game

Miami: 11.0

Drake: 9.8

Assist/Turnover Ratio

Miami: 1.4

Drake: 1.4

Blocked Shots Per Game

Miami: 3.3

Drake: 2.6

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