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These foes can relate

Sibling rivalries on tap in tourney?

Email|Print|Single Page| Text size + By Aaron Beard
Associated Press / March 14, 2008

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Tyler Hansbrough doesn't pay attention to stats. Not his own, anyway.

Obviously, North Carolina's star forward knows he has posted some record-book numbers, and knowing is good enough.

When it comes to how his brother, Ben, is playing at Mississippi State, however, Tyler turns into a full-fledged stat-watcher.

"It's that relationship where you have to know what's going on with each other," Tyler Hansbrough said.

The Hansbroughs aren't the only siblings making significant impacts at different schools this season.

Just ask Joe Crawford (Kentucky) and Jordan Crawford (Indiana) or Nick Calathes (Florida) and Pat Calathes (St. Joseph's), brothers who are all trying to lead their teams to a memorable March - which could include a couple of uncomfortable family reunions along the way.

"I've thought about that every day since we've been a lock in the tournament," Ben Hansbrough said of a potential Mississippi State-North Carolina matchup. "That would be pretty neat. I'm not sure, I may throw him a pass on accident because I'm not used to playing against him."

The Hansbroughs already figure to be set for the NCAAs. Tyler, a 6-foot-9-inch junior, was the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year after leading the league in scoring (23.1 points) and rebounding (10.5) to help the Tar Heels reach No. 1.

Meanwhile, Ben, a 6-3 sophomore, averaged 10.4 points as a regular starter to help the Bulldogs win the Southeastern Conference's Western Division title.

Jordan Crawford's Hoosiers are also headed for the tournament, with the 6-4 freshman averaging 10.1 points. His older brother, Joe, a 6-5 senior, is Kentucky's leading scorer at 17.1 points per game as the Wildcats appear likely to return to the tournament as well.

A brother-vs.-brother matchup has already taken place for the Crawfords this year. Indiana beat Kentucky, 70-51, in December in a game that Jordan's teammates dubbed "The Crawford Bowl."

"We joked about him coming here, but we never really talked about going to the same school," Joe Crawford said. "Growing up, we always thought we were going to be successful in basketball. We knew we were talented, but we never expected this. It's crazy when you're playing at Kentucky and he's playing at Indiana. I think a couple of times we were both playing on ESPN back-to-back or CBS back-to-back. We're blessed. I can hear it in my mom every time I talk to her and see her."

As for the Calathes brothers, their schools have the look of bubble teams heading into this week's Southeastern and Atlantic 10 conference tournaments. Nick, a 6-6 freshman, led the Gators in scoring (15.9) and the SEC in assists (6.1) to earn co-Freshman of the Year honors in the conference. Pat, a 6-10 senior, led the Hawks in scoring at 18 points per game.

The brothers try to catch each other's televised games when there's time in their schedules, and there are plenty of phone calls.

But if there's a matchup against each other, all those calls will go on hold.

"Off the court, we're as close as can be," Pat Calathes said. "On the court, it's definitely going to be cutthroat. If he goes up for a layup, I'm going to slam him down and if I go for a layup, he's going to slam me down."

While it would be special for some of the brothers to play each other in the NCAA Tournament or even the NIT, North Carolina's Hansbrough is hoping to avoid it.

"I wouldn't look forward to it," he said. "Honestly, I wouldn't, just because we've never been on opposite teams. I know what type of player he is and he certainly knows me. I think with that competitiveness . . . the loser would always hear about it."

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