Last fall, when Miami Hurricanes basketball still operated in the shadows of the football program, coach Jim Larranaga dropped in on a meeting of university officials and predicted a big season for his team.
''I went to the board of trustees,'' Larranaga recalls, ''and I said, `I'm the basketball coach. I don't know if you guys know that or not. But we're going to have perhaps the best season in school history.'''
Larranaga was right. The Hurricanes cracked the Top 25 in late January, climbed to a school-record No. 2 a month later and have earned at least a share of their first Atlantic Coast Conference championship with two games to go, both at home.
That ensures plenty of motivation for Miami to bounce back quickly from Saturday's thrilling but wrenching loss at Duke.
''These kids are pretty resilient,'' Larranaga says. ''They know we've got a lot more basketball ahead of us.''
Now ranked No. 6, the Hurricanes (23-5, 14-2) play Georgia Tech on Wednesday and Clemson on Saturda...