Saturday, February 9, 2013
O'Neil: Miami shows power in beating UNC
By Dana O'Neil
CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- The King was courtside at the BankUnited Center.
No, not that King. Yes, LeBron James was there but in this building and on this campus, even he must defer to the royalty presiding over the Hurricanes' bench.
That would be Jim Larranaga, a man who blends in better with the Miami retirement set than the South Beach flavor.
The black gold and traditional gold necklaces hanging from James' neck like Mardi Gras beads probably cost more than Larranaga's entire wardrobe and odds are, Erik Spoelstra doesn't take a seat in the middle of the press scrum while his players talk at the podium -- as Larranaga did on Saturday.
But the unassuming 63 year old is quickly becoming the talk of this town. The man who coached the first Final Four Cinderella entrant while at George Mason is now making that miracle look like a piece of cake.
What he's doing at Miami, in what should be the twilight of his career, is nothing short of the impossible.
He has built the University of Miami into a national championship contender.