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Virginia's Bennett Part of Second Father-Son Pair to Coach a Team to the Final Four

Coach Tony Bennett has taken Virginia to the Final Four for the first time in 35 years, and his appearance has put him in even more exclusive company: He's part of only the second pair of fathers and sons to coach a team in the national semifinals.

His father, Dick Bennett, took Wisconsin to the Final Four in 2000.

The first family duo to accomplish the feat was Georgetown's John Thompson, who took the Hoyas there in 1982, 1984 and 1985, and John Thompson III, who went with the same program in 2007.

Bennett said he was proud to be in such a small club, particularly because that means he's even with his dad.

"Now he can't look at me and say, 'I'm one up on you, son,'" Bennett said. "At least he can't do that. There's no bragging rights on his part now."

Virginia survived a thriller in the Elite Eight to erase the bitter taste of 2018, when the program became the first No. 1 seed to lose in the first round of the tournament.

Virginia forward Mamadi Diakite made a buzzer beater to send the game against into overtime, then finished off Purdue 80-75.

Key Facing Alabama's Rival Again

Virginia's Braxton Key just can't get away from Auburn.

The 6-foot-8 junior transferred after two seasons at Alabama and received a waiver from the NCAA to play right away this season instead of having to sit out a year. Yet his first year with the Cavaliers now has him set to play Auburn —Alabama's fiercest rival— in Saturday's national semifinals.

Key said he's heard from "a lot of my frat friends, former teammates, everyone" from his Alabama days about the importance of beating Key's (former) instate rival.

This will be the sixth time Key has faced Auburn. He scored 18 points and 17 points in two meetings during the 2016-17 season, but managed a total of 24 points in three meetings last season.

Final Four Practice in Front of Fans

Basketball fans lined up early for the first entry into U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, as the Final Four teams held open-to-the-public workouts Friday.

Auburn took the court first, followed by Virginia, Texas Tech and Michigan State. There's no charge to attend the practices.

The games, of course, come at a cost. According to secondary market ticket seller StubHub, as of Friday morning, the lowest price for the semifinal games on Saturday evening is $385.

U.S. Bank Stadium opened in 2016, the home of the Minnesota Vikings and the host of the Super Bowl after the 2017 NFL season. The seating capacity has been expanded for the Final Four to 72,000.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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