Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen and Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer go way back -- all the way to when they were in the same Lamaze class together with their wives (seriously). They've got family photos together and nearby lake houses in Georgia.
The two were graduate assistants at Maryland in 1972 and assistant coaches together at The Citadel (1973-78). Friedgen was also assistant head coach at Murray State during Beamer's first year as head coach in 1981.
Every time they play each other, their friendship comes up, but there are usually one or two good stories about their past to come out of it. Like this one about expansion.
On Thursday night, though, the only thing either of them will be concerned about is winning.
"It's such an important game for both of us," Beamer said. "You'd rather not do it. You'd rather not be in that situation, but it is what it is, and both of us are playing important ball games in November. That's the good part. This game means something. When it means something in November, that's a good thing. That's what you look at."
"It's always hard when you compete against your friend," Friedgen said, "but we're in the same league, so it's going to happen."