Miami coach Jim Larranaga has fond memories of the Verizon Center. It was the place that he notched wins in the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight during George Mason’s magical run to the Final Four in 2006. He now returns with a Hurricanes team that is looking to do the same.
“Coming into this building to them it’s just another venue,” Larranaga said, as reported by CSNWashington.com. “To me and my staff it’s not because we have the memory. They don’t. They want to create those memories for themselves and for this team.”
Miami will be at a disadvantage when it takes the floor against Marquette in the Sweet 16 in Washington, D.C., as center Reggie Johnson did not make the trip with the team due to a knee injury and subsequent knee surgery. But throughout the season the Hurricanes have shown that they can win at multiple paces, often getting out in transition to match a high-scoring team or slowing it down to play possession-by-possession against a defensive-oriented team.
We’ll see if Larranaga can find the magic again at the Verizon Center this time around. If he does, his Hurricanes will likely be in the Elite Eight.