Born four months apart, Miami’s Jim Larranaga and Pacific’s Bob Thomason square off in first round

University of the Pacific Coach Bob Thomason will retire after this season, his 25th leading his alma mater. This season has been one of his best yet. After the Tigers slogged through an 11-19 campaign in 2011-12, Thomason led a big turnaround, helping Pacific double its win total en route to the Big West championship, Thomason’s seventh.

Barring a miraculous upset, Thomason’s run will end in Austin, Texas, at the hands of the second-seeded Miami Hurricanes and Coach Jim Larranaga. As CBS Sports’s Jeff Goodman points out, Thomason and Larranaga share more than a job title.

Larranaga isn’t going anywhere. The ACC coach of the year led the Hurricanes to both the conference regular season and tournament titles, though it wasn’t enough to earn them a No. 1 seed. Still, Miami is a trendy pick to emerge from the East Region and the Hurricanes hope to reignite the spark that warmed Larranaga during his tenure at George Mason.

For those non-history buffs, here’s a quick summary of the year 1949, when both Larranaga (Oct. 2) and Thomason (March 26) were born:

>>Gas cost 26 cents per gallon.

>>NATO was established. The People’s Republic of China was formalized. South Africa institutionalized apartheid.

>>George Orwell published 1984.

>>The Hollywood Athletic Club hosted the first-ever Emmy Awards.

>>Something about a cow named Grady.

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Alex Prewitt covers the Washington Capitals. Follow him on Twitter @alex_prewitt or email him at alex.prewitt@washpost.com.
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Alex Prewitt | March 22, 2013