Heat, Panthers and now Messi: What a time for South
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It’s not just the professional basketball and hockey teams, which are playing in the NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Final, respectively. It’s yet another megastar, this time soccer GOAT Lionel Messi, taking his talents to South Beach.In basketball
and hockey, squads from the Miami area and beyond have been punching well above their weight. Upsets are the guideline instead of the exception; Cinderella runs go way past midnight; and in basic no team with a (1) beside its name wishes to play a South Florida group these days.Here’s a quick look back at the unlikely run of Florida dominance.After his departure from Paris Saint-Germain, Messi
is headed to MLS. The 2022 World Cup winner had been rumored to return to Barcelona or make a move to Saudi Arabian club Al Hilal. Instead, he’ll bet David Beckham’s club.He will sign up with the similarity other international stars such as Beckham
, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Gareth Bale, Wayne Rooney and others to play in the U.S. league.Breaking: Lionel Messi says he’s going to play for Inter Miami, he told SPORT and Mundo Deportivo.
pic.twitter.com/G6j0yNRaMr!.?.!— ESPN(@espn )June 7, 2023 Men’s NCAA competition: Miami and Florida Atlantic< img height="320"width="570"src="https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/37704081/
“/ > Florida Atlantic had an NCAA tournament run for theages. Al Bello/Getty Images The Miami Hurricanes and Florida Atlantic Owls were 5th and ninth seeds, respectively, going into the NCAA tournament. They definitely didn’t play like it. Miami knocked off the 4-seed Indiana Hoosiers, 1-seed Houston Cougars and 2-seed Texas Longhorns to make their first Final 4 in tournament history. Meanwhile, the Owls defeated the 8-seed Memphis Tigers, stopped the 16-seed Fairleigh Dickinson Knights and beat the 4-seed Tennessee Volunteers and 3-seed Kansas State Wildcats, becoming just the second ever 9-seed to make the Final Four. While both lost in the Final 4, FAU came achingly near to distressing the 5-seed San Diego State Aztecs and continuing their unlikely run.Women’s NCAA competition: Miami The Hurricanes knocked off the Hoosiers in a huge upset. Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire Another big run for the Miami Hurricanes. Miami beat the 8-seed Oklahoma State Cowgirls, 1-seed Indiana Hoosiers and 4-seed Villanova Wildcats, losing just to the eventual champion LSU Tigers in the Elite Eight. Brooks Koepka continued the South Florida quality with his 5th major win.Maddie Meyer/PGA of America through Getty Images He’s not a team, however Koepka is a West Palm Beach native. He hadn’t won a significant tournament since 2019 and was ranked 44th going into the 2023 PGA Championship, which he then won by 2 strokes. The Panthers crafted an enormous upset of the Bruins … and they’re not done yet. Michael Dwyer/AP Image The Boston Bruins had among the best routine seasons in NHL history, setting records for wins (65 )and points(135)on their way to
a first-round match against the Florida Panthers, who had 42 wins and only 92 points– reputable for sure, but nowhere near historic. When the Bruins took a 3-1 lead in the series, it appeared like things were over for the Panthers, but they roared back, winning 3 games in a row and spectacular the Bruins. Then they beat the Toronto Maple Leafs in five games and swept the Carolina Hurricanes to make simply their 2nd Stanley Cup Final appearance.How unlikely was their run? On March 18, the Panthers were 100-1 to win the Stanley Cup, their longest chances throughout the regular season, according to Caesars Sportsbook. The Panthers then completed with the least regular-season points(92)of any team to make the playoffs. Then there were the matches Florida faced to reach this point. In Boston(1), Carolina(2) and Toronto( 4), the Panthers faced 3 of the NHL’s leading four teams in points. Playoff Jimmy Butler has the Heat near to the NBA Finals. Issac Baldizon/NBA/Getty Images Though Miami’s playoff run began inauspiciously with a loss to the Atlanta Hawks in the play-in, the Heat beat the Chicago Bulls to advance to the next round against the 1-seed Milwaukee Bucks … whom they immediately dispatched in five games,
consisting of a 56-point outburst by Jimmy Butler in Game 4. They beat the New york city Knicks in 6 games to face off against the Boston Celtics. Miami developed a 3-0 series lead before Boston connected the series in dramatic fashion. No issue. The Heat then torched the Celtics in Video game 7. The Heat’s course resembles that of the Panthers. The Heat beat the Bucks and Celtics, who had the best records in the NBA this season. The Heat are the fifth group in NBA history to beat the leading 2 teams in winning portion prior to the Finals, signing up with the 2010 Celtics, 2002 Los Angeles Lakers, 1995 Houston Firecrackers and 1977 Portland Path Blazers.This is the 10th time that NHL and NBA teams from the very same metro area have reached the NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Final in the very same season and the first since 2016. In none of the previous 9 circumstances has both teams won the title.Maybe the sensational spring of South Florida changes that