Steve Fisher and Lon Kruger forged a friendship with roots in the Big Ten, tightened in the Mountain West and has stretched all the way to opposite benches in the NCAA tournament.
It's a matchup they'd have loved to miss.
One friend is going to lose and the other will take it almost as hard as if he lost himself.
Kruger will shunt personal feelings for 40 minutes when he leads 10th-seed Oklahoma (20-11) against Fisher and No. 7 seed San Diego State (22-10) on Friday. Kruger will make a dash of history as the first coach to lead five different programs to the NCAA tournament. He took Kansas State, Florida, Illinois and UNLV into the tournament, becoming the first coach to take the Gators to the Final Four in 1994.
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