|Six degrees of Larry Brown at Final Four|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 04 April 2008 12:56|
He graduated from North Carolina.
He led UCLA to the 1980 national title game and Kansas to the '88 national championship.
He had Memphis coach John Calipari on his staff at Kansas, and he said he turned the Tigers down when he accepted the UCLA job.
``I'm connected with all of them, and they're all pretty special programs,'' Brown said.
So what color will Brown wear on Saturday?
``Black or a real neutral color, I promise you that,'' said Brown, who also coached the San Antonio Spurs.
Calipari said he speaks with Brown several times a week. ``He's a mentor,'' Calipari said. ``He's a friend. He threw me a life raft when I was fired in New Jersey (by the Nets). Hired me at the University of Kansas when I had no business being hired. Who was I to work with Larry Brown?''
Asked if he had a favorite in the field, Brown said, ``I know who I'd like to see, but that's between me and my wife. I didn't want to come because I knew only one team would win and I'd be disappointed for the other three. My wife told me it was a win-win just coming here knowing that I was involved with all four.''
The well-traveled Brown said he is interested in returning to the sidelines, either in the NBA or college ball.
``I'll go anywhere I can help,'' he said.
NOT THAT SONG AGAIN: UCLA's Darren Collison may have violated unwritten rule No. 1 of Final Four protocol. He's actually sick of hearing ``One Shining Moment,'' the NCAA tournament anthem that sounds best to the team that's just cut down the nets.
``No offense, but I'm so tired of that song,'' said Collison, preparing for his third straight Final Four. ``I didn't start catching on until my second year, when everyone started singing it. This being my third year, I'm so tired of it.''
Of course, he reserves the right to change his mind Monday night.
``Maybe if we win I'll start liking it more,'' he said.
HAASE'S DILEMMA: North Carolina's Roy Williams isn't the only Tar Heel facing his former program.
Williams brought his coaching staff with him when he left Kansas to take over at his alma mater in 2003. Among that group is assistant Jerod Haase, who played for Williams at Kansas from 1994-97 and now finds himself preparing to face the Jayhawks in Saturday night's national semifinals.
``It's a little bit awkward knowing how much I love Kansas and the Kansas program,'' he said. ``When you play for a program, you do become very attached to that program. Your blood, sweat and tears are going towards it every day in practice and in the games. There's no question I gave everything I had at Kansas. But now as an assistant coach, I'm doing everything I can to help the Tar Heels win.''
AP Sports Writers Andrew Bagnato, Aaron Beard and Jaime Aron contributed to this report.