When Utah's Larry Krystkowiak sat down on the podium Thursday, he introduced himself before taking questions. Then he was asked why he didn't just say Coach K, as his players refer to him.
"Could be confusing in this situation," Krystkowiak said.
Yes, it could with this NCAA Sweet 16 matchup.
Krystkowiak's fifth-seeded Utes (26-8) play Friday night against the more well-known Coach K, four-time national champion Mike Krzyzewski and top-seeded Duke (31-4) in the South Regional in Houston.
This is Duke's 22d Sweet 16 appearance under Krzyzewski, the only men's Division I coach who has won more than 1,000 games.
Krystkowiak has 110 career wins, 68 in four seasons at Utah, which is in Sweet 16 for the first time in 10 years.
The longest conversation between the coaches with Polish heritage has been the 20 minutes Krystkowiak spent as a guest on the Duke coach's weekly satellite radio show earlier this year.
Krystkowiak, a former NBA player and coach, coached for two seasons at Montana, where he was a three-time Big Sky Conference MVP as a player, before taking the Utah job in 2011. With a decimated roster his first season, the Utes went 6-25 and had a losing record at home for the first time in 39 years.
With 11 new players the next year, they improved to 15-18, then 21-12 last year. Now they are the No. 5 seed with an at-large bid out of the Pac-12 and NCAA tournament wins over Stephen F. Austin and Georgetown.
"Certainly I'm not predicting the future that we're going to turn Utah into Duke," Krystkowiak said. "But [Krzyzewski] reminded me that when he first started at Duke, it wasn't all roses and went through a period of about three, four years where there were questions about what was going on there."
UCLA vs. Gonzaga
. UCLA lost just once at home this season and it was Gonzaga that dished out that defeat.
To say that 87-74 loss in December is serving as extra motivation for the Bruins (21-13) as they prepare for a rematch against the second-seeded Bulldogs (34-2) in the NCAA Sweet 16 on Friday might be an understatement.
UCLA's Kevon Looney said: "We take pride in defending our home court and they're the only team that came in there and beat us this year. We've got a chip on our shoulder about that."
Gonzaga coach Mark Few knows that the Bruins will be looking for revenge for that loss and that they are dangerous despite being a No. 11 seed.
"They're playing with a high level of confidence right now. They're on a roll," Few said.