John Calipari and Tom Crean both spent a handful of their coaching careers in Conference USA at Memphis and Marquette, respectively.
The two have shared some playful Tweets with each other throughout the past year, and they will once again be on the same sideline tonight trying to take their programs back to places their fan bases are accustomed to.
Calipari on coaching against a friend:
“I don’t enjoy it, but during the game I’m just thinking of one thing — doing the best we can. Let’s win this. Let’s be at our best. I’m not worried about anything else. Then, when the game ends, you worry about it. If it’s me going down, I’ll be ecstatic for him. He’s a terrific coach who has done a great job. Look where he’s got his team. The games I’ve watched them play, they’ve played well.”
Crean on his friendship with Calipari:
“We’ve been friends for a long time. I’ve got a lot of respect for him. Even if I didn’t know him very well, I would put him up with anybody as far as a basketball coach.”
Calipari: Massachusetts (8 years), Memphis (9 years), Kentucky (3 years)
Coaching Length: 20 years
Coaching Record: 539-153
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 13
NCAA Tournament Record: 32-13
Final Fours: 3
Conference Tournament Championships: 11
5-2 All-Time Record against Crean
Crean: Marquette (9 years), Indiana (4 years)
Coaching Length: 13
Coaching Record: 245-170
NCAA Tournament: 5-5
NCAA Tournament Appearances: 6
Final Fours: 1
Conference Tournament Championships: 0
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