Wiggins brothers set maddening pace

ESPNAPI_IMG_NO_ALTEXT_Value

One is a guaranteed lottery pick and a potential No. 1 pick in June's NBA draft.

Another is on a team that is 34-0 and pointing toward a second Final Four run.

And the other ...

What, you didn't know there was another Wiggins' brother?

Well, there is, and Mitch Wiggins, being the typical big brother pacesetter, already has set the bar for Andrew and Nick.

Mitch, a senior at Southeastern University in Florida, just finished a storybook run in the NAIA Division II tournament. The Fire, making their first tourney appearance in school history, are only the second team at the school to qualify for nationals in any sport. They rolled all the way to the Final Four, hitting a buzzer-beating 3-pointer against the No. 1 seed along the way before losing to Indiana Wesleyan in the semifinals.

Forget the lure of the $1 billion bracket challenge.

The Wiggins family already has won March.

On Friday, Andrew and No. 2-seeded Kansas will face Eastern Kentucky in St. Louis. Three hours later, in the same building, Nick and top-seeded Wichita State play Cal Poly or Texas Southern.

The next day, Mitch, Final Four appearance in hand, will compete in the NAIA All-Star dunk contest in Kansas City, Mo., a drivable four hours away. "All of these things happening at once, I could never imagine it," Mitch said. "It's just crazy."

It is familial domination like no other -- one brother already in a Final Four, two more with decent shots to make their own Final Fours, and perhaps a national title winner among the three. Kansas and Wichita State, on opposite sides of the bracket, could meet only once -- on April 7 in the national championship game.

Mitch already has plans for such a doomsday scenario: He'll sit in a neutral place, wearing colors for each team.

Andrew said he hopes it happens, because such a game would mean the brothers have achieved all they can achieve.

Nick, the feistier, more outspoken one among the bunch, looks at it a little differently.

"I wouldn't look at it as playing my brother; I'd look at it as playing a Jayhawk," he said -- and, yes, you could hear the Shocker sneering for all things KU. But there is far more love and only a little in-state-rival loathing between these three. This wild ride through March is just the climax of texting, Snapchatting and Skyping each other through a wild ride of a season.

Andrew and Nick turn to their big brother for advice; Andrew and Mitch marvel at Nick's undefeated run; and Nick and Mitch sit back and soak in all of the attention that's come Andrew's way.

It's easy to see how it could boil over into some serious sibling rivalry. Instead there's been nothing but brotherly love. Even Mitch, tucked into the more obscure world of the NAIA, hasn't turned even the slightest bit green with envy.

"Not even close. No way," he said. "When you're in a family, you want each other to reach their goals because you love each other so much. There's no way there'd be jealousy."

That's the way it's always been between the Wiggins boys. They grew up like brothers often do, toeing the line between fiercely competitive and thoroughly supportive. They wanted only the best for one another -- unless they were playing one another.

Then it was war.

Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...