Miami basketball guard Wooga Poplar has not practiced since suffering a back injury against Indiana and his status for Friday’s Sweet 16 game against the Houston basketball program is still to be determined, head coach Jim Larranaga said, via Jon Rothstein of CBS Sports.
Wooga Poplar has averaged 10.5 points per game for Miami basketball in its first two games in the NCAA Tournament so far. He is one of the team’s starters, and a key contributor. Miami hopes to get him back for Friday against Houston basketball, as they will need everything they can get to beat one of the number one seeds.
In the first NCAA Tournament game against Drake, Poplar scored 15 points on 5-10 shooting and 3-6 from three. Poplar played 18 minutes in Miami’s 85-69 upset of Indiana basketball in the second round, and shot 3-6 scoring six points. Three other starters played 30 or more minutes, while the other starter Torched Omier played 26 minutes.
Miami is hoping to make its second-straight trip to the Elite Eight by beating Houston. They made a run in 2022 as a 10 seed by beating USC, Auburn and Iowa State to get there. This year, Miami comes in with a stronger team as a five seed, beating Drake and Indiana basketball to get there.
This would not be the first time that a Jim Larranaga-coached team upsets a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament. When he was at George Mason, his team upset the number one seeded UConn Huskies in the Elite Eight in 2006.
Houston’s Marcus Sasser is dealing with a groin injury as well, and he played limited minutes in their last game.
Larranaga will look to pull another upset with Miami against Houston on Friday, and he might have to do it without a starter in Poplar.