Few people have stronger rooting interests in Saturday's Final Four showdown between Syracuse and Michigan than Dave Bing.
Bing is the mayor of Detroit and a former Pistons star who is beloved in the Wolverine State. On the other hand, Bing is a Syracuse legend. He starred for the Orange from 1963 to 1966, leading the squad to the Elite Eight as a senior. He even roomed with current Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim for a year.
But when asked who he'll be cheering for, the answer is easy: Syracuse.
"Who else would I root for?" Bing joked in an interview with the Syracuse Post-Standard.
Bing, who will be in Atlanta for Saturday's game, followed up his time at Syracuse with a stellar career in the NBA. During a 12-year NBA career, nine seasons of which were spent with the Pistons, Bing was the 1967 Rookie of the Year and a seven-time All-Star. His jersey has been retired by both Syracuse and the Pistons.
And even though he'll be rooting against the Wolverines on Saturday, Bing has followed the team closely. He's met coach John Beilein, who he says is "first class, he handles himself very well." Bing also told reporters that he's been impressed with the play of Michigan freshman Glenn Robinson III. Bing said he doubted Robinson III would stay in Ann Arbor for four years.
Bing ran for Detroit's top office in 2009 and won the race to finish former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's term. He was elected again in November of 2009, and is up for re-election this year. One might think Bing would refrain from rooting against Michigan during an election year, but then again, he hasn't announced whether he's running for office again.