By Josh Baumgard (@MiaSportsGuy)
After bulldozing Mike Krzyzewski’s top ranked Blue Devils, Miami basketball is officially legitimate.
Jim Larranaga’s army sliced through what was thought to be a dynamic defense with ease, forcing Duke to shoot under 30 percent from the field.
“Men and boys,” said Kryzewski after suffering his worst loss since 2009.”They were men and we were boys. For 40 minutes”.
The 90-63 romp elevated the Canes from on-the-radar to national relevance in a matter of minutes. It was like Larranaga grabbed an inverted Kryzewski by one leg, and mopped his pristine toupee up and down the floor. But how?
Hellacious defense is Miami’s foundation. 40 minutes is their identity. Up 28 with under seven minutes to go, they were still slapping the floor on defense. 40 minutes.
Duke carried a plus 17 scoring margin into the Miami game. The Canes won by 27. That’s a 44 point swing against a team that usually doesn’t just beat opponents, but obliterates them.
On an individual level, this team doesn’t turn heads. But together, Larranaga’s hands have transformed them into a fearless group marching to the same heartbeat. Every player has a role and has executes it with precision.
Conquering historic powers like Michigan State and North Carolina put them on map. Playing the toughest schedule in the nation earned them respect. Turning the country’s top team into a piñata?
That brings fear.