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Coach K goes against familiar face

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is dreading today's NCAA East Region second-round matchup against Missouri.

It has nothing to do with who's on the court.

It has everything to do with who's on the bench _ Quin Snyder, a former Blue Devil player and assistant.

"I would choose not to play Quin's team at any time because it's Quin's team," said an emotional Krzyzewski during Friday's news conference.

"My relationship with him is a terrific one. That's because as a young kid he said, "I want to be with you. I want to play for you.' Then he said, "I want to coach with you. I want to be a part of your family.' And my family said, "We want you to be a part of our family.' He's one of my daughters' best friends. Debbie and Lindy and Jamie, they look at Quin as a brother. Of course we're going to feel emotional about it. Why would I want to play somebody like that?"

"I concur," said Snyder, 34.

Krzyzewski, 54, has coached against former assistants several times, including Mike Brey (then at Delaware) in December 1995 and Tim O'Toole (Fairfield) in November 1998. The stage and stakes are different now.

And Brey, O'Toole and former William & Mary coach Chuck Swensen didn't play for him.

"What I think is of utmost importance is that this is momentary and whatever happens, win or lose, for either one of us, it should not have an impact on what we feel for each other personally," Krzyzewski said. "I think a lot of times in sports, it does. I know it won't (here), but I hate to be in that situation."

In the 1992 Final Four, Krzyzewski found himself in Snyder's shoes, the pupil going against the teacher (Indiana's Bob Knight). Duke won.

"As far as to how I felt as the so-called pupil? Nervous. I was nervous; nervous and emotional," he said. "Let me see how I feel right now? I'm nervous and I'm emotional. I feel the same damn way. How did that happen? It's not supposed to happen."

Like his mentor, Snyder couldn't hide his uneasiness about the subplot to this game.

""We're very, very close," he said. "Really in the last month, I've talked to him frequently. Obviously, you try to observe some level of respect, it's during the season and it's not like he's running a hotline for all of his (old) assistants.

"I was probably less prone to call last year, kind of intuitively feeling there were some things I had to learn myself. His insights into things are terrific and he knows me so well that if I describe a situation or dilemma, he can put himself in my shoes and help me look at it. That's been terrific. To be honest with you as great as that is, the thing I like best is that he's my friend."

INJURY UPDATE: Krzyzewski said star sophomore guard Jason Williams is fine and ready to go. After twisting his left ankle on Sunday, Williams left the game against Monmouth early in the second half when teammate Matt Christensen fell on his ankle.

NUMBERS GAME: Utah State forward Shawn Daniels usually wears No. 5, but his jersey wasn't in his bag when he arrived here and a new jersey, which was set to be flown here on Wednesday didn't arrive. So, he had to resort to a spare jersey, No. 42, that school officials took to a printing shop to emblazon his name on the back.

"I'm going to keep wearing this one," he said, beaming, after the Aggies' upset of Ohio State on Thursday. "They can keep that No. 5."

COMMON OPPONENTS: UCLA has played two other Big West teams this season and struggled to win both. The Bruins beat UC-Santa Barbara 83-77 and then UC-Irvine 65-60. Both were at Pauley Pavilion. Utah State swept UC-Santa Barbara, winning 71-48 on the road and 83-50 at home, and split with Irvine, winning 67-52 at home and losing at Irvine 56-51.

RATINGS: The first day of the tournament, loaded with upsets and close games, drew slightly higher preliminary TV ratings than last year. Overall, Thursday's 16 games drew a 4.8 preliminary national rating on CBS from noon to 5 p.m. and from 7:30 p.m. to midnight. That's up from the 4.7 preliminary national rating for Day 1 last year. The evening games averaged a 5.8 full national rating, down from 5.9 in 2000 and the same as the previous two years. The rating is the percentage of television households in the United States tuned to a telecast, and the share is the percentage watching a telecast among households with TVs in use at the time.

_ BRIAN LANDMAN, TIMES WIRES

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