They were just a couple of alumni, watching their school advance to the Sweet 16.

One was Wesley Matthews, the guard who rose from obscurity in his rookie season with the Utah Jazz before decamping for Portland. The other, Jerel McNeal, is on a 10-day contract with the Jazz and hopes to follow the same path as his former Marquette teammate.

"I know the Jazz," Matthews said. "They know that Marquette guys, they produce tough-nosed, hard-playing players. I could see a future with him there."

McNeal and Matthews watched the Golden Eagles, a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament, beat second-seeded Miami on Friday at Matthews’ Portland home.

It’s been a strange road for the friends, who played at the Wisconsin private school from 2005 to 2009, which forked after college and converged Friday at the Rose Garden.