The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

March 19, 2014

Read before jumping into the deep end of NCAA pool

(Continued)

___

DON'T I KNOW YOU FROM SOMEWHERE?

Speaking of "Sophie's Choice," a Pennsylvania high school coaching legend named John Miller could be facing one come early April.

That's when Miller's sons — Sean, who coaches No. 1 West seed Arizona; and younger brother Archie, who coaches No. 11th South seed Dayton — could meet in the Final Four. It's a longshot, sure, especially since the Flyers only got off the bubble and into the bracket after winning nine of their last 10 games.

Then again, what were the odds that brothers from a tiny town in western Pennsylvania would wind up coaching in the same tournament? (Short answer: Who knows? The Beaver County (Pa.) Times said it was believed to be the first time that's happened, but added such record-keeping at the NCAA was "sketchy.")

"Sean, you kind of always figured he was going to be a coach. Archie always said he wasn't going to coach," John Miller, who won four state titles and more than 650 games before retiring from Blackhawk High in Beaver Falls, told the newspaper. "It was only three or four days after graduation, though, when we talked. He said, 'All my contacts are in basketball, maybe I should try coaching.'"

After a number of stints as an assistant elsewhere, Archie's best contact (and brother) came through with a two-year deal at Arizona.

"No question, being part of the tournament is going to be great for him," Sean said.

John will be on hand Thursday in Buffalo, when Archie makes his NCAA tournament debut against Ohio State and coach Thad Matta, whom both Millers served under as assistants. But he'll have to settle for watching Arizona's opener Friday against Weber State in San Diego on TV. And even if both boys somehow get their teams to Arlington, Texas, on the tourney's final weekend, John, who still coaches a youth team now and then, isn't making any promises.

"This March Madness," he fumed, "is getting in the way of basketball."

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