As we near the tip-off’s of today’s Elite 8 games of the 2014 NCAA Tournament, I thought it would be fitting to look back some amazing feats performed by siblings in the world of sports. Today, Arizona head coach Sean Miller, and Dayton head coach, Archie Miller look to lead their teams to next week’s Final Four. A truly amazing feat, indeed. Just them getting this far is quite amazing, but where do they rank? In tomorrow’s Elite 8 action, the Harrison Twins, Aaron and Andrew, look to lead the Kentucky Wildcats to another Final Four appearance. There are a lot of examples of siblings excelling in sports, and lots of them have been together or against each other when they happened. Here are a few:
The Williams Sisters:
Venus and Serena Williams took the world of tennis by storm in 1994 and 1995, respectively. The Williams Sisters have combined to be two of the most successful and dominating players in their sport. The pair also formed what to proved to be an almost unbeatable doubles team, but the rivalry between the two has been one of the best and most publicized in sports history.
From 2001 – 2009, the Sisters played in an incredible eight Grand Slam finals, culminating with Serena winning the 2009 Wimbledon Championship. In those Grand Slam finals Venus has beaten Serena only twice (2001 U.S. Open and 2008 Wimbledon). Serena, holds an overall 14-10 edge over Venus in head to head matches, including a 7-5 edge over her elder sister in Grand Slam matches overall. This era of success for the Williams Sisters includes a period of time where both endured injuries and other issues, on and off the court. You would have to think there would be even more head to head matches between the two, if those issues had not occurred. It’s extremely hard to argue, that the Williams Sisters are not one of the most dynamic duo of siblings in the history of sports.
Jim and John Harbaugh:
In 2013, these two brothers led their respective teams to Super Bowl XLVII. John, the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens came away victorious over his younger brother Jim and the San Francisco 49ers, in what proved to be one of the more exciting and competitive Super Bowls in recent history, 34-31. The fact that both brothers are even coaching in the NFL is unprecedented, but to match up head to head in the Super Bowl is amazing.
It’s no surprise that the Harbaugh’s have a good coaching pedigree. Their father Jack, had a long and successful career in the college ranks, including serving as the running backs coach for Jim’s Stanford team in 2009.
With the Ravens and 49ers in different conferences, it’s hard to find many head to head matches between the two. Including the aforementioned Super Bowl, John holds a 2-0 record. The only other meeting being in November 2011. Jim, almost had his 49ers back in the Super Bowl again this past season, but their effort came up short to one of his former players from Stanford, Richard Sherman and the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship game. Both Harbaugh’s have established both their teams as perennial contenders in the NFL. We heard far from the last from this sibling duo.
Peyton and Eli Manning:
Of all rivalries between siblings, the most publicized, and at times the most scrutinized has to be the Manning Brothers. Peyton and Eli, have also been one of the most successful duos, with 5 Super Bowl appearances and 3 wins (2 wins for Eli, 2008 and 2012) between them. Peyton won his only Super Bowl in 2007 with Indianapolis Colts. The latest appearance was by Peyton in Super Bowl XLVIII. A loss to the Seattle Seahawks, ironically on Eli’s home turf at MetLife stadium in New Jersey.
In head to head matches, Peyton now owns 3-0 edge over his younger brother. The latest victory coming this past September. While Peyton has had a better overall career than Eli, the fact that Peyton has only the one Super Bowl victory is a head scratcher.
The Manning Brothers, also have a good coaching pedigree. Archie Manning, had a pretty successful NFL career, mainly with the New Orleans Saints. Archie, played his college ball at Ole Miss. Eli, followed suit and also became a Rebel.
The future of the Manning’s is a bit of a question. Peyton’s, blowout loss to Seattle in Super Bow XLVIII was a huge blow. With his neck problems still possibly an issue, it’s questionable if the Broncos will be able to make another Super Bowl run, even though they will be favored to do so. Eli, and the Giants have problems of their own. The Giants failed to make the playoffs, and who knows what 2014 has in store. Of course, it’s usually the time people count them out, that the Giants seem to excel. We’ll see what happens this time around.
The Miller’s and Harrison Twins:
Can the Miller’s and Harrison Twins join this group of sibling duos and complete their great own great feats? It’s very possible. In fact, I think the Harrison’s and their Kentucky Wildcats will beat Michigan tomorrow. The Wildcats, even without their big man, Willie Cauley-Stein injured will be tough for the Wolverines to deal with inside. The Wildcats success has a lot to do with the growth of the Harrison Twins. Will they march on to the Final Four next week, or will the next time we see these siblings be in the NBA?
For Dayton, the task looks to be more difficult. The Florida Gators are on some kind of roll, winning 29 games in a row. Their last loss was in early December to UCONN. Dayton, has surprised many, but it would surprise me even more if Archie Miller and his Flyers are able to pull this off. It’s still been an incredible ride for Dayton and their great fans.
For Arizona, the Wisconsin Badgers will also be a tough task. The Badgers are balanced and well coached. I do think Sean Miller and his Wildcats will find a way to join the Harrison Twins in Dallas next week. Should be fun watching this set of sibling duos in the year’s to come.
These are only a few examples of sibling duos. They are ranked in no type of order. If you know of others, agree or disagree with my list, feel free to leave a comment.