Archie Miller has spent much of his life in his older brother’s shadow: As a kid in western Pennsylvania, as a player in the college ranks, later as an assistant on Sean’s staff at Arizona.
So when an interviewer accidentally called Archie by his brother’s name on national television, there was a long awkward silence. To be fair, some of it was the delay on the satellite feed between questions. Still, it seemed to catch Archie off guard.
A few days later, as he was doing interviews before Dayton faced Stanford in the NCAA tournament, another interviewer apologized for calling Archie by the wrong name.
“You don’t have to worry about that,” Archie said. “Everybody calls me Sean.”
Maybe not much longer.
In his third season as the head coach at Dayton, Archie has his underdog Flyers in the same place big bro has the blue-blood Arizona Wildcats: the Sweet 16.
Arizona is in the regional semifinals for the third time in four years after master recruiter Sean pulled together a string of among-the-best-in-the-nation classes. The Wildcats, the No. 1 seed in the West, are supremely athletic and play defense like few teams in the country, overcoming the jitters against Weber State and reaching the Sweet 16 with a rout of Gonzaga.
Arizona faces San Diego State in the West Regional semifinals Thursday night in Anaheim, Calif.
After two years as an assistant under Sean, Archie left the desert for Dayton, where he modeled his program after the success the brothers had together in Arizona.
Dayton has been the surprise of this year’s bracket, a scrappy team that’s in the Sweet 16 for the first time in 30 years after knocking off sixth-seeded Ohio State - and millions of brackets in the process - then Syracuse in one magical weekend.