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Friends, former AAU teammates meet for Final Four spot

LOUISVILLE, KY – Kyle Guy and Ryan Cline played in the same conference in high school in the Indianapolis area and were teammates on a high-level AAU team.

The two friends remain in touch long distance. On Saturday, they will be competitors again vying for a trip to the Final Four in Minneapolis.

Guy is a star guard for No. 1 seed Virginia. Cline had an absurd shooting performance in leading Purdue to an overtime win over Tennessee.

“He’s obviously an incredible player, an incredible shooter,” Cline said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun being able to go against an old buddy.”

Cline scored a career-high 27 points against the Vols by making 10 of 13 shots, including 7 of 10 three-point attempts.

Afterward, he ran over and gave Guy a hug as Virginia took the court for warmups for its game against Oregon.

“It’s a little bit exciting that we get to play,” Guy said.

The two likely will guard each other at some point in the regional final. They’ll probably also discuss something Guy shared during his press conference Friday. He said he embarrassed Cline on a crossover dribble during one of their games in high school.

He’s going to be mad I said this, but I made him fall,” Guy said. “I crossed him over pretty bad when we played him in high school. I remember that vividly.”

Cline didn’t.

“Did he say that?” Cline replied when told later about it. “That’s wild. Yeah, I’ll text him about that. I don’t remember that. Yeah, that’s not cool of him to say. I don’t know why he said that. … I don’t think that ever happened. I’ll definitely talk to him about that.”

Cline was smiling so he wasn’t upset.

Purdue's Painter reflects on being recruited by Gophers

LOUISVILLE, KY. -- Purdue coach Matt Painter received a text Thursday after his team defeated Tennessee in the Sweet 16.

The text came from former Gophers assistant coach Silas McKinnie, who recruited Painter when he was a high school player in Muncie, Indiana, in the late 1980s. Painter made an official recruiting visit to Minnesota his senior year at Delta High School.

“I made four official visits – Purdue, Michigan State, Minnesota and Evansville,” Painter said Friday outside his team’s locker room.

Painter said he gave serious consideration to signing with the Gophers to play for Clem Haskins before signing with Purdue.

“I love Clem,” Painter said. “He was a players' coach. I got along with him. Silas McKinnie did an unbelievable job recruiting me. Great guys, very successful. At the end of the day, I just couldn’t think going there over a school that was two hours away from me that had the success of Purdue.”

Painter recalled that, while being recruited, the Gophers advanced to the Sweet 16 in 1989 where they lost to Duke.

“They were rolling, they were good,” he said. “Purdue had a down year. I really liked those guys at Minnesota. There was nothing that they could’ve done differently that would have changed my mind. Purdue was two hours away and a great school. I felt that was best for me.”

Painter played in three NCAA Tournaments at Purdue and earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors as a senior.