Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Boeheim and Ryan Enjoy Mutual Admiration

When you've been around as long and won as many games as Jim Boeheim and his Wisconsin counterpart Bo Ryan have been, you're bound to have some common connections.

With 1540 combined wins, they run in similar circles.

"Bo sits right behind me at the Final Four every year, so we always talk about the games in progress," Boeheim said. "We've had a relationship for a long period of time. I've watched Wisconsin play over the years and he's a great coach."

Both coaches credited Boeheim's wife, Juli, for sharing candy among the group at Final Four games.

Ryan attended Wilkes University in the 1960s, about the same time Boeheim was playing for Scranton in the Eastern Basketball League. Ryan said he would occasionally trek to Syracuse for entertainment on the weekends.

"Jim's been good for the game behind the scenes, a lot with Coaches vs. Cancer and other charities," Ryan said. "He's got a lot to be proud of in this profession."

Boeheim and Ryan both sit on the board of the National Association of Basketball Coaches but their teams have never faced each other on the court.

Boehiem owns 47 NCAA wins, tied with UCLA legend John Wooden for fifth most. Ryan has 16 in addition to four NCAA Division III national championships at UW-Platteville.

Syracuse meets Wisconsin Thursday at 7:15 in the Sweet 16.

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