By Mickey Winfield: PNT Sports Writer
Creighton’s Dana Altman and Nevada’s Mark Fox have more in common than leading their teams to the NCAA tournament.
They both played basketball for the Eastern New Mexico University Greyhounds.
Nevada (28-4) is the No. 7 seed in the South Region and Creighton (22-10) the No. 10 seed. They play each other Friday in the first round in New Orleans
In his 13th year with the Creighton Bluejays, Altman was a guard for the Greyhounds from 1978-1980.
“I enjoyed my two years (in Portales),” Altman said. “I played for coach (Larry) Riley in two of his first years, and I’ve stayed in touch with him quite a bit over the years. I enjoyed the opportunity to play there.”
Before becoming a Bluejay, Altman made several coaching stops, including Southeast Junior College (Neb.), Moberly Junior College (Mo.), Kansas State and Marshall.
Altman has led the Bluejays to six tournament appearances, including a stretch of five in a row from 1999-2003. Fox, who played for Earl Diddle from 1989-1991, could not be reached for comment.
Before making it to Nevada, Fox had coaching stops at Washington and Kansas State — Altman had already left K-State.
Fox has led the Wolfpack to three straight Western Athletic Conference titles and NCAA Tournament appearances since 2004.
“I’ve known Mark for a long time,” Altman said. “I’m more worried about some of his players than I am about Mark. He does a great job with his team. They’ve won 28 ball games; they’ve been ranked in the Top 20 all year. It’ll be a big challenge for our team.”