March Madness 365 podcast: UConn's Dan Hurley nearly faced 'guilt' of keeping brother Bob, Arizona State out of tournament
Dan Hurley felt sick, not for losing the A-10 championship game to Davidson, but what might occur within an hour or so after Rhode Island lost on Selection Sunday.
Hurley had been anxious for 48 hours, thinking that he may cost his brother an NCAA tournament berth by his team losing.
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Arizona State, coached by Hurley’s older brother Bobby, was on the bubble. The Sun Devils were considered one of the last four teams in the field or just out by bracketologists and pundits.
Nothing was certain, except a loss by URI to Davidson would mean one team in the NCAA tournament selection committee’s First Four would be out to allow the bid-stealing Wildcats to take their spot in the field of 68.
“I woke up that Saturday morning before we played Saint Joe’s (in the A-10 semifinals) wondering if my performance whether we win or we lose the A-10 championship would mean whether Bob gets in or not,’’ said new UConn coach Dan Hurley in a wide-ranging sit-down interview about his new job for the NCAA.com/Turner Sports podcast March Madness 365.
“I was nervous about our second chance at winning a championship and there was this cloud hovering over me,’’ said Hurley. “(On Sunday) the potential outcome of my game would affect how Bob would feel a couple of hours later.’’
The Rams lost to Davidson in the Sunday A-10 final in Washington D.C. The result ultimately put Syracuse in the field, and Notre Dame out. But Arizona State could have been in Syracuse’s spot since the Sun Devils were one of the final First Four teams.
As soon as the Rams lost to Davidson in the A-10 title game, Dan Hurley immediately thought of his brother Bob.
“Did I just let my big brother down?’’ Hurley said. “My mood was just completely sunk. There was little enjoyment to the upcoming selection show. I knew we were in. I was in a very, very bad way when the show started.’’
But the Selection Show’s new unveiling of the field, by starting out with teams in alphabetical order, immediately put Dan Hurley at ease.
“I don’t know what people thought of it, but I loved it,’’ Hurley said of the new format. “I was locked in early and there was exhilaration and a flood of relief. It brought me to my knees after a long weekend with three games in three days.’’
Dan Hurley feared most — the guilt.
“Guilt,’’ said Dan Hurley. “I don’t see him much since he’s out West. I’ll see him in a couple of days recruiting and at vacation time and in July recruiting. We talk once or twice a day. To let your best friend and big brother down — the guilt would have been excruciating.’’
Arizona State ended up losing to Syracuse in the First Four in Dayton. URI lost to Duke in the round of 32 after knocking off Oklahoma in the first round.