March 16, 2001
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) - With a 51-14 career record in the NCAA tournament, Duke's Mike Krzyzewski has an answer for almost any postseason situation.
But the cool, calculating mastermind of one of college basketball's best programs can't seem to figure this one out.
Krzyzewski doesn't know how high or low his emotions will run Saturday in the second round of the East Regional when he's pitted against Missouri coach Quin Snyder, one of Krzyzewski's former guards and assistant coaches - and good friend.
"I would choose not to play Quin's team - at any time - because it's Quin's team," Krzyzewski said Friday of his former 1989 co-captain. "Quin is like a member of my family and I feel like a part of his family. Why would you want to compete against somebody you love? I don't want to do that. It's not by choice that I'm in this situation."
Utah State (28-5), a No. 12 seed, and fourth-seeded UCLA (22-8), play in the other second-round game Saturday at the Greensboro Coliseum. The winners advance to play in Philadelphia next week.
Krzyzewski has never coached against a former player or assistant in the NCAAs, but is 2-2 all-time against his former boss at Army, Bob Knight.
After Krzyzewski beat Knight in the 1992 Final Four, the relationship grew strained and the two are no longer close. The Duke coach called his association with Knight "a private matter" when asked about it Friday.
"What is important is this game (against Quin) is momentary, and whatever happens, whoever wins or whoever loses, should not have an impact on what we feel about each other personally. A lot of times in sport it does," Krzyzewski said. "I won't like (Saturday). But will I like coaching my team? Yes, I will. That's my job, and you have to put the other thing aside."
Snyder, whose ninth-seeded Tigers (20-12) beat Georgia 70-68 on a last-second shot Thursday night to give him his first NCAA victory, doesn't like the matchup any more than Krzyzewski.
"It's a difficult thing, given the nature of all the relationships and what all those people associated with that program mean to me," Snyder said. "I used to wear that jersey. That's tough."
Snyder used to console Duke star Shane Battier when he was a freshman, and is like a brother to Krzyzewski's three daughters.
"My freshman year, I used to get uptight and didn't enjoy basketball, it became too heavy for me," Battier said. "He would bring me into the office and say, 'Who cares?' He really lightened up the game for me and made it a lot more enjoyable."
But Battier doesn't expect Krzyzewski to ease up on Snyder as Duke looks to improve to 31-4 and advance toward yet another Final Four appearance.
"If he was coaching against his little sister he would want to beat her by 50," Battier said of Krzyzewski. "He wants to win."
Krzyzewski didn't know he had given Battier that type of impression.
"Sometimes Shane's analogies are a little far-fetched," the coach said.
Snyder said he has no special insight to share with his team about the Blue Devils, for whom he roots on a regular basis.
"My knowledge of Duke is much more personal than tactical," Snyder said. "I know where to get coffee in Durham and how to find my way around campus. There is more familiarity with the program, not necessarily with this team. I know this team like a fan does. I've had to look at it differently now."
What fans have seen is Duke take a school-record 920 3-pointers, and make the long-range shots at a 40-percent clip. Snyder's main job is find a defense that will pressure the ball, yet not leave the court open.
"They shoot with such range that it's hard to simulate that," Snyder said. "It's a little bit like playing a team that's really big. You can tell your guys that they're big, they're big, they're big, but then you walk out on the court and say, `Wow, these guys are big."'
On the eve of the biggest game of Snyder's young head coaching career, his players said Coach Q was his normal self.
"Any time the day before a game he is very jacked up and very excited," guard Brian Grawer said of his coach. "He treated it just like a normal film session."
By DAVID DROSCHAK
AP Sports Writer