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The No. 8 seeded Hurricanes (21-12) shot 54% and all 10 players who played more than a minute scored to help Miami win its ninth game out of the last 11.
The Hurricanes scored 24 points in the first quarter and led by as much as 19 before halftime. Ninth-seeded South Florida (24-9) kept hanging around, twice cutting the deficit to nine in the second half. But they couldn’t get any closer.
Miami advances to Sunday’s second round against the winner of the tournament’s top overall seed South Carolina and No. 16 seed Howard. If the Gamecocks advance, the Hurricanes will be playing a third No. 1 seed in the tournament in five games after beating Louisville and losing to North Carolina State in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament.
The 78 points were the second most the Hurricanes have scored this season. Five players were in double-figures.
Elena Tsineke led South Florida with 21 points and Elisa Pinzan added 19 points for the Bulls.
South Florida: The Bulls ran into a hot shooting team to lose in the first round for the third NCAA tournament in a row.
Miami: The Hurricanes got 29 points off the bench to just nine points for the Bulls, wearing out South Florida in the fourth quarter.