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Hurricanes defeat Drake 63-56 in NCAA tournament

Nijel Pack leads No. 5 seed Miami with 21 points
Drake Bulldogs defend against Miami Hurricanes guard Nijel Pack in first half of first-round NCAA tournament game, March 17, 2023
Posted at 10:08 PM, Mar 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-17 22:50:57-04

ALBANY, N.Y. — Nijel Pack scored 21 points — including the go-ahead jumper and a pair of free throws in the final minute — to rally No. 5 seeded Miami past Drake 63-56 in the first round of the NCAA tournament Friday night.

The Hurricanes (26-7) scored the final 10 points in just barely getting past 12th-seeded Drake just a year after reaching the Elite Eight.

Norchad Omier added 12 points and 14 rebounds for the Hurricanes, who won despite being held to a season-low 63 points. Wooga Poplar had 15 points.

Miami Hurricanes forward Norchad Omier defended by Drake Bulldogs forward Nate Ferguson in first round of NCAA tournament, March 17, 2023
Miami forward Norchad Omier is defended by Drake forward Nate Ferguson during the second half of a first-round NCAA tournament game Friday, March 17, 2023, in Albany, N.Y.

Darnell Brodie had 20 points and nine rebounds to lead Drake (27-8). The Missouri Valley Conference tournament champions were outscored 16-1 over the final 4:29 and 10-0 in the last 2:28. The Bulldogs missed their last seven shots from the field and were scoreless the final 3:24.

Missouri Valley Player of the Year Tucker DeVries, whose father is the coach, scored three points on 1 of 13 shooting.

Miami will face the winner of the game between fourth-seeded Indiana (22-11) and 13th-seeded Kent State in the second round of the Midwest Region.