Mitch Richmond

Coaches Dana Altman of Oregon, Lon Kruger of Oklahoma are best friends, but one has to lose Saturday

Coaches Dana Altman of Oregon, Lon Kruger of Oklahoma are best friends, but one has to lose Saturday

Lon Kruger and Dana Altman are one win away from the Final Four, and each man can't bare to lose.

They can hardly stomach a win, either.

Kruger, the Oklahoma coach, gave Altman, the Oregon coach, his first Division I job, as an assistant at Kansas State. In return, Altman brought his star junior college player, a young man named Mitch Richmond. In their brief stretch together, along with point guard Steve Henson, they built one of the best stretches in Kansas State basketball history.

Both coaches moved on, but remained what Kruger called "best friends." They're both naturally calm, studiously dull and undeniably effective. They talk every 10 days throughout...

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