Dan Hurley was an emotional mess after seeing brother Bobby reach NCAA tournament

Kevin Kaduk
The Dagger

There were a few hours on Sunday when it looked like Dan Hurley’s Rhode Island team might have cost Bobby Hurley’s Arizona State squad a spot in the NCAA tournament. The Rams loss’ to Davidson in the Atlantic 10 final gave an automatic bid to a Davidson team that had been bound for the NIT, causing an otherwise-deserving Rhode Island team to burn up an at-large spot.

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So, yes, it looked like the next Hurley family gathering might be a little awkward.

In the end, though, Dan Hurley was able to breathe a long sigh of relief.

Well, at least figuratively. Hurley’s actual response to seeing Arizona State get into a First Four game against Syracuse was to pump his fist wildly before getting very emotional in front of his team.

“It was relief initially, and then just a flood of emotion,” Dan Hurley told the Providence Journal. “Once our game was done and I was done hurting for our seniors and for our program and for everyone that supports us, the next thing that was on my mind on that bus to the hotel was my brother’s fate.”


After an up and down season, here’s Bobby’s reaction to the same news:

The two brothers spoke on the phone following the bracket reveal.

“He’s such a good brother and we have such a strong relationship,” Bobby Hurley said to reporters in Arizona. “You have no idea how much extra pressure he put on himself this morning. I felt terrible that he was thinking about that.

While both have gone dancing before — Bobby with Buffalo in 2015; Danny with Rhode Island in 2017 — this is the first time they’ll be in the tournament together. They could even face each other in the Sweet 16 if all goes well.  That’s a big deal for one of the sport’s most prominent coaching families, even if there’s plenty of crying from people who don’t believe Arizona State had a worthy resume.

In case you were wondering, Danny Hurley was even more happy for his own squad get their official invite to March Madness. Here’s his reaction to seeing the Rams in the field, where they’ll be a seventh-seed facing Trae Young and the 10th-seeded Oklahoma Sooners.


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Rhode Island coach Dan Hurley argues a call as his team plays Davidson on Sunday. (AP)
Rhode Island coach Dan Hurley argues a call as his team plays Davidson on Sunday. (AP)

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