Hurricanes, Destiny Harden defuse F-bomb slip after game winner

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Destiny Harden hit the shot that put the Miami Hurricanes women's basketball team in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament for the first time in 31 years, and then went viral with some colorful language on national television.

"Oh, the one that my mom and her mom aren't proud of?" Miami coach Katie Meier joked Thursday.

Said Harden: "That's just something that I slipped up on. But it won't happen again."

The 9-seed Hurricanes, the lowest seed left in the tournament, will face No. 4 seed Villanova on Friday (2:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).

Harden, who finished with 18 points, hit the game-winning shot with 3.3 seconds remaining in Monday's victory against No. 1 seed Indiana. The Hoosiers weren't able to get off a shot, and Miami joined the school's men's team in the Sweet 16, both having defeated Indiana in the second round.

Asked on an ESPN interview about her winning shot, Harden said she had been encouraged during a timeout by Miami assistant coach Fitzroy Anthony to "face up and win the f---ing game. Excuse my language."

Said Meier on Thursday: "If you know Des, she is so respectful. She comes from an amazing family. And I was like, well, it's not our fault [they] didn't bleep it. It was a late game. So hopefully there weren't a lot of young eyes on it. But it is kind of raw and that is kind of Des, and it was the truth."

At 24, Harden is one of the older players in the NCAA tournament. She started her career for the West Virginia Mountaineers in 2017-2018, sat out the next season as a transfer, and has played four seasons for the Hurricanes, using the COVID-19 waiver for a fifth season.

The 6-foot guard is from Chicago, the same hometown as Meier, who had recruited her since her teen years. Harden didn't choose Miami first, but said she's glad she got the second chance to do it. Last season, Harden helped lead the Hurricanes to the program's first ACC tournament final and now she has had an even bigger accomplishment.

As for the exuberance, Harden said she hopes it doesn't overshadow anything the Hurricanes have accomplished.

"I got some positive more than negative comments," Harden said. "I'm not too much of a social media type of person. It's a lot of attention, but it's also a blessing to even be known or appreciated. I kind of brush it off and continue being a good person."