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.