NEW YORK -- -

The Virginia Cavaliers are almost ready for their Sweet 16 date Friday night against Michigan State.

The countdown to tipoff is on in Manhattan, and for UVA seniors Akil Mitchell and Joe Harris they don't want this magic carpet ride to end anytime soon. But they both have a plan, especially Mitchell.

At 6-feet, eight-inches tall, Akil Mitchell is a towering presence on the UVA basketball team. And he stands tall on the grounds in Charlottesville too.

For all of his exploits on the court, Mitchell secured a prestigious internship this semester in the office of University President Teresa Sullivan.

“It's been a great experience and an opportunity for me to learn about big business and corporations, how things work, and getting to listen to president Sullivan who is so smart,” Mitchell said. “And to meet the people who run the school has been a great opportunity and I've cherished every moment of it. Hopefully I will be able to use that experience later on in life.”

Senior guard Joe Harris said: “This team and the guys on this team have done a great job of being more than just basketball players. A lot of times guys come to college and that's all they focus on is basketball and life revolves around that. But there is so much more than that you can do with being a basketball player. Akil is a testament to that. The fact that he works for the president of our university is amazing. It's huge and I don't think there's probably another college basketball player in the country that does an internship with the president of their university.”

Mitchell, from Charlotte, North Carolina, shared a poignant moment with Sullivan amid the chaos of celebrating an ACC Tournament Championship in Greensboro just two weeks ago.

“She is a huge basketball fan. She is Virginia all the way through for every sport,” Mitchell said. “So to see her there and to know that we talked about it before and to know she is now a friend of mine and I can talk to her, to have her at the game and to see how excited she was is pretty special.”

Mitchell hopes to attend business school.