Taking a program to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history is a special feat in its own right, but for GCU first-year head coach Bryce Drew the significance goes well beyond that.
"It's great to be back home," said Drew. "When they first announced the tournament was going to be here, I kept thinking how awesome that'd be, to be able to go back to Indiana, back to my home state, and be able to be part of March Madness."
The Hoosier state is a basketball mecca, and the Drew family name is legendary in those parts. Two and a half hours northwest of Indianapolis lies the city of Valparaiso where Bryce was named Indiana Mr. Basketball as a senior in high school in 1994. He went on to play for his dad, Homer, at Valparaiso University, and his older brother Scott, who was an assistant coach.
And in 1998, Bryce was the star of one of the most infamous plays in NCAA Tournament history. His buzzer-beater three-pointer, known as "The Shot", clinched an upset of fourth-seeded Ole Miss for the 13th-seeded Crusaders.
While Bryce went on to become a first-round NBA Draft pick, Scott took over as Valparaiso's head coach when Homer retired in 2002. The father returned to the sidelines when Scott got the head coaching job at Baylor (where he eventually retired for good in 2011) and Bryce took over as head coach at Valpo.
Fast forward to now, where Homer is a Naismith College Basketball Hall of Famer, Scott's second-ranked Baylor Bears have a legitimate shot to win the national championship, and Bryce is trying to build GCU into a mid-major power.
"Just having my dad who's won over 600 games, it's awesome to have his wisdom," Bryce said. "It's amazing how I've gotten older as a coach, my dad's gotten smarter. When I was a younger coach, I didn't think he was as smart, but now that I've had a few years under my belt coaching, he's a lot smarter when he tells me things. So he just has a lot of wisdom that Scott and I both soak in."
This week, it will be a Drew family affair once again in the state of Indiana.
"My dad was was obviously really excited. Now he has two sons in the NCAA tournament, and that's such a blessing," Bryce said. "I think he's a proud dad."
Not only do the proud parents get to see both sons coach in the same city thanks to the tournament being played in a bubble this year, but Bryce and Scott's GCU and Baylor teams are actually staying in the same hotel in Indianapolis. The only chance of coaching against one another? If the 'Lopes and Bears met in the national championship game.