Leading up to this weekend’s Final Four, Play For The Garden is breaking down the matchup (back court, front court and coaches before looking at the game as a whole) for both Syracuse’s and Louisville’s respective games.
Syracuse Orange – Jim Boeheim
Career record: 920-313
NCAA Tournament record: 52-28
Final Four appearances: This is his 4th (1987, 1996, 2003 and 2013)
National Championships: One (2003)
Boeheim has been the head coach of Syracuse since 1976 and this will be his fourth appearance in the Final Four. And with that, he joins Dean Smith, Rick Pitino and Mike Krzyzewski as the only coaches to take their team to the Final Four in four different decades.
Michigan Wolverines – John Beilein
Career record: 672-402
NCAA Tournament record: 12-7
Final Four appearances: This is his first.
National Championships: None
Beilein has been the head coach at Michigan since 2007 after starting his coaching journey at the high school level in 1970s. And this will be his first ever appearance in the Final Four. However, he did win the NIT Championship in 2007 – which is rather meaningless on this platform, but thought it should be noted.
The Edge: Syracuse
If you would have turned on the game Saturday between Syracuse and Marquette just as the final buzzer sounded and you didn’t know the outcome and were only able to see Boeheim, you would not have known who won. You actually probably would have sided with Marquette. That is because there was no reaction on his face. Just a bland rather emotionless, almost smug-like look on him because well, there was nothing for him to really celebrate. This is nothing new to him. He’s been to Final Fours before and has even won a national championship. And he is in the business to win another championship, nothing less. Beilein on the other hand was ecstatic to get to Atlanta. He’s never gotten this far before, so he is in entering unchartered territory in terms of a basketball stage. Both men have been in the coaching business since the mid-70s, but when it comes to the NCAA Tournament and Final Four experience, it isn’t even close. And oh, these two have squared off nine times over their careers – Boeheim is 9-0.