INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana — When Baylor assistant basketball coach Alvin Brooks III first saw the NCAA Tournament bracket on March 14, he was looking for two names: Baylor and Houston.
The two teams, originally positioned on polar opposite ends of the bracket's right side, are now set to play in the Final Four Saturday afternoon. When they do, Brooks III will see a familiar face on the opposite bench: his father.
"We knew they'd be a high seed and we'd be a high seed," Brooks III said. "So we were more just looking at when we would meet up."
Alvin Brooks II is an associate head basketball coach at the University of Houston. He previously served as the school's head coach from 1993 to 1998 before serving as an assistant at Texas Tech, North Texas, UTEP and Texas A&M.
For the longest time, Brooks III did not want to follow in his father's footsteps. He even decided to study finance in college.
"[My father] never really brought me around the gym as much. He just wanted me to be a kid and enjoy it organically," Brooks III said.
Eventually, however, Brooks III changed his mind and told his father he wanted to get involved in coaching. His dad was hesitant to agree.
"He actually told me, 'No. Call me back in two weeks,'" Brooks III said. "So, he's definitely allowed me to create my own path."
Now, those two paths are set to collide Saturday afternoon at the Final Four in Indianapolis.
"It's hard to get here," Brooks II said. "But to get to the Final Four in the same year and play in the first semifinal game... it's just unbelievable."
Brooks II said he FaceTimed with his son as Baylor celebrated its Elite Eight victory over Arkansas. The two have texted and talked regularly during each of their program's historic runs.
They say that communication will have to be limited this week as the two share the court for the third time in their careers.
Brooks III said he has an 0-2 record coaching against his father; 0-3 if you count an exhibition between Baylor and Houston in 2017.
But, the rivalry has not stopped their relationship.
After returning to the hotel following their Elite Eight win, Brooks II walked over to the area near Baylor's designated ballroom to embrace his successful son.
"That will be a lifetime memory," Brooks III said. "Just to see him walking up with a Final Four hat on and me having a Final Four hat."
Brooks III says one of the duo's biggest concerns now is finding tickets for the contest, which is being held at limited capacity. He added his family will likely cheer for whoever has the ball.
Already, the family has begun designing a t-shirt to symbolize their split allegiance.
The two will play Saturday at 4:15 p.m. in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The winner will earn the right to coach for a National Championship Monday night.
They say the loser will likely be right in the stage cheering them on.