INDIANAPOLIS—Glenn Robinson III wasn't four months old when his father and Cuonzo Martin were in their collegiate glory days.
Two decades ago this month, a 22-year-old Martin and a 21-year-old Glenn Robinson Jr. led Purdue's top-seeded 1994 squad into the NCAA tournament. The duo combined for nearly 64 percent of the Boilermakers' points in three tournament games before being upset by Duke in the Elite Eight.
Fast-forward 20 years. Martin has coached the Tennessee Volunteers into the Sweet 16, where they will face Robinson III and the second-seeded Michigan Wolverines at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis tonight at 7:15 p.m. ET on CBS.
Having known the youngest Robinson since he was born, Martin couldn't help but gloat about the son of "Big Dog" as he embarks onto college basketball's biggest stage.
"He is a great kid, and his family has done a great job of raising him," Martin said Tuesday during his press conference. "I am happy for him and the success he is having."
Martin's relationship with the Robinson family, however, transcends the hardwood.
Evidence of that was seen Thursday when Robinson III's first thought of Martin wasn't about basketball.
Rather, it regarded family.
"He's a great family friend," Robinson III said. "I know my mom and my grandma are all close with him and his family."
Robinson III, though, has a ways to go before matching his father's 30.3 points and 11.2 rebound average from his final season at Purdue. After all, Martin still calls his former roommate "probably the best I've ever played with and against."
But the sophomore, who puts up 13.1 points per game, still poses a unique match-up problem for the Vols.
At 6-foot-6, 220 pounds and boasting an athletic frame that works from the perimeter in, Robinson III's playing style clearly differentiates from Jeronne Maymon — the 260-pound Vol he will go up against Friday.
That's an advantage, however, that could teeter in favor of the Vols just as easily.
"For them, they think they have a mismatch with Glenn and Jeronne," UT senior guard Jordan McRae said. "We also think we have a mismatch with Jeronne and Glenn."
Ironically, Maymon overestimated Michigan's rebounding prowess, or lack thereof (303rd in the NCAA), as he elaborated on UT's perceived advantage on the glass.
"Hopefully we can take advantage," Maymon said in response to the mismatch at the four-spot. "I heard they're really bad at rebounding – like 200 something in the nation. And that's one of our strong suits, so hopefully we will get a lot of extra shots and take advantage of it."
Putting an extra emphasis on dominating the boards is nothing new for the Vols, who rank 20th in the nation at 38.8 rebounds per game.
But with UT's size advantage at the four-spot, Michigan is still planning on rolling the dice and guarding telephone-booth-sized big men Maymon and Jarnell Stokes one-on-one.
"They are an inside presence team, " Michigan guard Derrick Walton Jr. said, "so our focus in practice has been to guard the post one-on-one."
But as for Robinson III and Martin, the warm and fuzzy talk about family ties will be put on the backburner come tipoff.
"I don't want to see him play well on Friday," Martin said, "but he is a good kid and deserves everything he gets."
Robinson III, though, has taken to a more lighthearted approach.
"It's just funny how things work out," he said, "and now we're playing in the Sweet 16."