March Madness

Nijel Pack's Broken Shoe in Final Four Puts Miami Managers to the Test

Miami guard Nijel Pack broke his shoe midway through their semifinal matchup against UConn

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No. 5 Miami's Final Four debut against No. 4 UConn was marred with bad luck, none more absurd than the second-half scene that took over the entire bench.

Hurricanes point guard Nijel Pack, the 2023 Midwest Region Most Outstanding Player, found himself sidelined midway through the second half of Saturday's game with a wardrobe malfunction. Pack's shoes reportedly broke and there were no backups readily available.

That sparked an all-hands-on-deck effort as managers and team staff set off in a mad-dash to find a pair of shoes for the 6-foot sophomore.

Unfortunately for Miami, it wasn't as smooth of a process as one would have hoped on the biggest stage. CBS panned to the arena tunnels on multiple occasions to show staff running between the locker room and bench only to unsuccessfully provide Pack with a good-enough alternative.

Pack finished the game with eight points -- all before the shoe incident -- a significant difference from the 18.5 points he averaged in the four prior tournament games.

With the exception of a narrow window in the first half when the Hurricanes tied things up at 19 apiece, they never seemed to settle into the matchup, shooting 32.3% from the field and ultimately lost to the the Huskies 72-59.

The loss of Pack's shoes only added to the laundry list of issues for coach Jim Larranaga's squad.

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