The NCAA Division I women’s basketball record books have seen this only once before. Miami (Fla.) has never experienced this before.
No. 9 Miami outlasted No. 4 Villanova 70-65 to become the second No. 9 seed ever to make the Elite Eight. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes advanced to its first-ever regional final.
The other ninth-seeded team to accomplish the feat, Arkansas, danced to the Final Four in 1998 as the lowest seed to advance to the national semifinals.
If that wasn’t enough drama, the Hurricanes moved on despite relinquishing a 21-point lead. If the Wildcats had completed the rally with a win it would’ve tied the largest comeback win in tournament history.
HISTORY: The lowest seeds to advance in each round
Instead, Miami survived and has a combined margin of victory of eight points in three games — the lowest in women's NCAA tournament history.
The Hurricanes’ lead peaked with 9:19 left in the third quarter, giving Villanova just enough time to go on a 14-0 run and later overcome the gap in the fourth.
Jasmyne Roberts halted the Wildcats' momentum, scoring nine of her 26 points in the fourth quarter.
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Roberts also helped contain Maddy Siegrist (31 points, 13 rebounds) late in the second half. Siegrist notched 16 second-half points as the comeback catalyst, but she shot 8 of 29 from the field.
Miami wasn’t scared of the nation’s leading scorer. The Hurricanes already overcame a 17-point deficit in the first round against Oklahoma State and then shocked No. 1 Indiana at home in the second round.
This team is fearless, perhaps fearless enough to follow the Razorbacks' steps all the way to Dallas in the Final Four.