Miami-Florida St. Preview

Miami quietly was making its way into contention in the ACC

until busting into the national spotlight with a recent road win

over a top-10 team.

There may not be a better opportunity to earn a rare victory

over No. 15 Florida State.

The visiting Hurricanes look to end a five-game losing streak to

the Seminoles, who are coming off an embarrassing defeat to the

conference’s last-place team.

Miami (15-7, 6-3) followed its stunning 78-74 overtime win at

then-No. 7 Duke on Sunday with a 65-49 victory over Virginia Tech

on Thursday, winning its sixth straight to pull within one game of

the ACC lead.

Reggie Johnson scored a game-high 27 points against the Blue

Devils and had a team-best 15 on Thursday for the Hurricanes, who

have won five straight conference games for the first time since

joining the ACC for the 2004-05 season.

Miami has not won six consecutive conference games since Jan.

17-Feb. 7, 2000, as a member of the Big East.

Coach Jim Larranaga is looking ahead rather than focusing on

previous success.

“When people look at you, they might look at a whole series of

games. We don’t,” Larranaga said. “We only look at one. Who is our

next opponent? How do we get ready for them? I don’t think about

the past games or how many games we’ve won. I think about how do we

play against our next opponent. Hopefully the players are doing the

same thing.”

Given Miami’s win at Duke and other surprising results around

the league, Larranaga said the ACC is one of the country’s deepest

conferences.

“Every team in this league is very talented and capable of

beating you any place,” Larranaga said. “You see that every night.

I’m watching the ticker (Wednesday) and you see Boston College beat

Florida State.”

That 64-60 loss for the Seminoles (16-7, 7-2), who also boast a

shocking victory at Duke on Jan. 21, ended their seven-game winning

streak and dropped them into a first-place tie with Duke and North

Carolina.

Michael Snaer, who scored 16 points, said Florida State simply

wasn’t prepared.

“Starting off the game, what we did, not respecting that team –

we weren’t as focused as we should have been and that caught up

with us at the end of the game,” Snaer said. “We get national

recognition, and we didn’t handle it well.”

Coach Leonard Hamilton agreed regarding his squad’s lack of

focus while also praising the conference, much like Larranaga.

“That’s the way it is in the ACC if you’re not on your game.

Somebody else will be on theirs and that showed up in the result,”

Hamilton said. “They were hungrier and they were motivated. If you

don’t come with that focus, everybody in the league will beat

you.”

Florida State has rarely been beaten by Miami in recent seasons,

though.

The Seminoles have won 10 of the past 11 meetings – the last

four by six points or fewer – with the only loss coming Jan. 21,

2009. Ten of the past 12 matchups have been decided by no more than

eight points.

The Hurricanes have dropped five straight in Tallahassee since

an 84-78 overtime victory Jan. 29, 2006.

Miami leading scorer Durand Scott is looking to bounce back from

a season-low two-point, 1-of-7 shooting effort against the Hokies.

He was 5 for 20 from the field in last season’s two losses to the

Seminoles.