The Sweet 16 can mean different things to different programs. John Miller's two sons epitomize that. Archie, the third-year coach at Dayton, has his 11th-seeded Flyers into the round of 16 for the first time in 30 years. This is a revelation. Sean has No. 1 seed and title contender Arizona in the Sweet 16 for the third time in four years. This is expected. Together, they're also historic. It's the first time two brothers have coached in the same Sweet 16. And the whole situation led to their father, John, experiencing some mixed emotions — beyond his overall excitement. He's giddy when he's talking about Archie's surprising run at Dayton: "With Dayton right now, it's like icing on the cake every time he wins one. It's really fun, and the program is just exploding right now." On the other hand, he's a bit stressed out when he's asked about Sean's postseason run and a team that was No. 1 in the polls for much of the year. "It's almost like you're supposed to get there," John said in a phone interview Monday. "Watching the team right now, it's a lot more nerve-racking with Arizona. They're a Number 1 seed. They've been doing pretty well. They're expected to get to the end. I think there's pressure." Despite the differences — and their varying effect on their father watching the games — there's one thing that's undeniable about having two brothers in the same Sweet 16. "It's very special," Sean said after beating Gonzaga on Sunday, a day after Archie punched his ticket. "We're both the product of a great family, but in particular, our dad being who he is, not only a great high school coach — maybe one of the best ever, at least in our opinion — but also a great dad. It was that combination of so much time spent that, you know, he gave us an understanding of the game, a love of the game, and I think we're both probably coaches because of him. "Today is a special day in my mind more for him." John was a long-time legendary high school coach in western Pennsylvania who won four state titles and more than 650 games at Riverside and Blackhawk high schools. At Blackhawk, he coached both sons, who each went on to have terrific college careers — Sean at Pittsburgh, Archie at North Carolina State — before they followed in their father's footsteps and picked up a whistle. Looking back now, the sons aren't surprised. "Five years old, 6 years old, he's teaching us how to play one on one, how to keep score when you're playing a pickup game when you're 7 years old," Archie, 35, said in a phone interview Monday. "He was always teaching us the game. Before you realize it, you're a coach, too. It's just a natural fit. It's what you talked about at the dinner table, what you talked on the car ride home, at camps, in the car heading to practice. There were no summer vacations for us. It was all basketball every day."
Miller brothers carrying on the family tradition
Arizona Republic | Mar 25