LOS ANGELES - Ever since Thad Matta and Sean Miller shared a tiny office at Miami of Ohio nearly two decades ago, the coaches' friendship has survived job changes, practical jokes and a few hundred bucks in unpaid lunch tabs.
Yet when Matta's second-seeded Ohio State meets Miller's Arizona Wildcats in the West Region semifinals Thursday, the winner gets much more than bragging rights between pals.
Matta and Miller would prefer not to be facing each other at Staples Center, but both coaches realize the Final Four is eminently within reach for two of the nation's most consistent programs. Arizona and Ohio State are the only seeds among the top eight left in the West.
After Aaron Craft's heroics last weekend, the Ohio State point guard faces a challenge from Arizona's Mark Lyons.