Sports

Close friends in coaching fraternity, Boeheim and Beilein prepare to clash in front of nation

  • Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim cuts down the net following their 55-39 win over Marquette in the East Regional final in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament, Saturday, March 30, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

    Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim cuts down the net following their 55-39 win over Marquette in the East Regional final in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament, Saturday, March 30, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)  (The Associated Press)

  • Michigan head coach John Beilein reacts after cutting down the net after a regional final game against Florida in the NCAA college basketball tournament, Sunday, March 31, 2013, in Arlington, Texas. Michigan won 79-59 to advance to the Final Four. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Michigan head coach John Beilein reacts after cutting down the net after a regional final game against Florida in the NCAA college basketball tournament, Sunday, March 31, 2013, in Arlington, Texas. Michigan won 79-59 to advance to the Final Four. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)  (The Associated Press)

The careers of Michigan's John Beilein and longtime Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim are so intertwined that Saturday's national semifinal between Beilein's Wolverines and Boeheim's Orange will be bittersweet, no matter the outcome.

After all, the two upstate New Yorkers have ties that bind.

Boeheim helped Beilein get coaching jobs at Canisius and West Virginia, and now they'll face one another in Atlanta. Beilein is 0-9 against Boeheim, who's seeking his second national championship in his fourth trip to the Final Four.

Both teams have been on cruise control in the tournament. Syracuse has won all four games by at least six points, and posted three wins with double-digit differentials. And Michigan also has three double-digit wins, including a 79-59 decision over Florida.