Joseph Family Could Single-Handedly Buy All the NCAA Tickets in Buffalo

When Syracuse and Vermont were paired together on Sunday in the No. 1 vs. No. 16 game of the West Region, the comparisons to the 2005 matchup were inevitable. But the important players from those teams are no longer around -- Vermont even has a new coach. There's a far better story as these two teams head to Buffalo and that's the story of the Joseph family. ↵

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↵Thanks to Arinze Onuaku's injury, Syracuse's Kris Joseph slides into a starting spot for the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament. (Onuaku's status beyond that is still to be determined, assuming Syracuse is still in it. He suffered a quad injury in the Big East tournament.) Kris' brother, Maurice, is the second-leading scorer for Vermont. It's the rare sibling matchup to add a little spice to what would otherwise be a first-round afterthought. The game will be the first competitive organized game between the two since Kris Joseph was 8 years old, according to the Syracuse Post-Standard: ↵

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↵⇥In the tradition of big brother-little brother basketball rivalries, Kris Joseph bore the brunt of brutal domination by Maurice, who at 24 is three years older. Kris recalls the unrelenting physicality of Maurice, who would hammer him during one-on-one games and refuse to allow Kris to call fouls. The brothers taunted and challenged each other. They played a lot of basketball. ↵⇥

↵⇥“Oh, he beat me. I got scars on my knees from the pushes on the concrete. I got all types of probably permanent bruises on my body because of him,” Kris said. “He won the majority of the games. When I got a little older and bigger, he couldn’t push me around anymore. And he wanted me on his team.” ↵⇥

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↵⇥“I was kind of rough on him,” Maurice admits, “but that’s pretty much how the big brother-little brother relationship goes.” ↵⇥

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↵Given the history of that No. 1 vs. No. 16 game, Kris is in excellent position to exact a little revenge on his older brother. Syracuse's zone defense will probably deprive us of a one-on-one matchup with Maurice going at Kris, but here's hoping that we get at least a few clear-out plays for Kris to take it to his older brother. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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