Next stop for Archie Miller: Memphis


Create a man cave. That was the first thing on Morgan Miller's to-do list after she and her husband, Archie, closed on their house in Dayton, Ohio.

So Morgan got to furnishing the basement straight out of the boy's dream-home catalogue.

There are two televisions, an air hockey table, a pool table, a bar, two Playstations, an Xbox and, as of October for Archie's birthday, a Golden Tee arcade golf game.

That's where the Dayton Flyers gathered on Selection Sunday to see if they actually made the NCAA tournament, loafing around on the sectional sofa, plopped in the handful of available beanbag chairs.

"When they announced that we were in [the tournament field], they started jumping around, and someone tweeted, 'I hope they don't break the couch,'" Morgan said. "I just bought it last month, but I didn't care. I would have gladly bought another one.''

The sofa survived, as have the Flyers, the closest thing to a Cinderella this NCAA tournament has left. Dayton, a No. 11 seed, is in the Sweet 16, which is glass slipperish enough on its own merits.

There's the hard way, and then, apparently, there is the Dayton way.

The Flyers, who stood at a dismal 1-5 in conference play just two months ago and were no guarantee on Selection Sunday, wound their way to a Memphis date with equally unlikely regional semifinalist  Stanford by knocking off  Ohio State -- their in-state big brother -- and  Syracuse, hot off last season's Final Four run. And they survived buzzer-beaters from Aaron Craft and Tyler Ennis.

Comfort? That's meant for sofas, not basketball players.

Dayton is built on scrap and grit, not cushions and cozy throw pillows.

The Flyers, in other words, are Archie Miller, and he is them.

"They're so resilient,'' assistant coach Tom Ostrom said. "There's such a toughness about them. They don't care what happens in a game. They don't care what people expect. That's all from Arch. He's a leader. That's how he leads, and they all follow by example.''

This, of course, is where you would insert the requisite little-brother complex, the one that fostered Archie to work so hard. Sean, 10 years older, is coaching the Cadillac at  Arizona, the No. 1 seed with sights on the Final Four. He has the bigger paycheck. Heck, he's even taller.

When Archie finally got his moment last weekend, a between-games interview on CBS to celebrate the Flyers' surprise run, what did Greg Gumbel do? Call him Sean, of course.

The trouble with that convenient, little-brother theory: It's simply not true.

The two brothers are allies -- not rivals -- comrades who survived the basketball boot camp of their dad and coach, John, and have shepherded one another from bitty ball to the big time.

"They talk four or five times a day,'' Morgan said. "Sean has never made Arch live in his shadow. They're always there to help each other.''

It was Sean, in fact, who, as an assistant coach, recruited Archie to play at  NC State and Sean who, years later, brought him on his Arizona staff, giving his kid brother the résumé leg up that ultimately landed him at Dayton.

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