HARTFORD, Conn. (WCAX) March Madness is here and Vermont is ready to go! The UVM men's basketball team has been like a family this season. It helps that they actually have three brothers from one family on the team.
Our Scott Fleishman is in Hartford, Connecticut, where the Duncan brothers and the Hoop Cats are preparing for Thursday's first-round NCAA Tournament game against Florida State.
No player in UVM basketball history has been a part of more Catamount wins than guard Ernie Duncan. And what's made Duncan's career even more special, is that two of his brothers, Robin and Everett, have been contributors in some of those victories. Thursday afternoon, the three from Evansville, Indiana, will take the court together, as big brother looks to add a big win to his legacy.
Three brothers on one team playing in an NCAA Tournament game: it's the first time it's ever happened.
"I've enjoyed every step of the way, enjoyed the ups and downs of this whole thing," said Ernie Duncan, a senior.
"Ernie was here and he's really taught me about Vermont and everything about basketball. I've just really appreciated him throughout my years here and it's something I won't forget," said Everett Duncan, a junior.
Reporter Scott Fleishman: Freshman year and you're going to the NCAA Tournament.
Robin Duncan/Freshman: It was unreal. I always remember growing up watching the selection show and when they went in 2017, I was like I want to do that, too.
And to think this was all made possible due to a back injury. Ernie Duncan redshirting his sophomore season meant that he'd still be around when freshman Robin came aboard.
"I can't believe I'm saying I was blessed to have a hurt back, being in all the pain I kind of went through, but in a way, I would be injured again just to do this and to be able to play," Ernie said.
Ernie, Everett and Robin Duncan grew up hungry.
Scott Fleishman: Was the refrigerator ever stocked in your house?
Ernie Duncan: Never stocked. It was stocked when we came home, but then as soon as we came home, it was gone.
Scott Fleishman: Who did you think ate the most food in the house?
Everett Duncan: Probably me or Ernie. Ernie was a little bigger when he was younger, so it probably was him. He was stealing portions from different people.
But they're even hungrier to make history in Hartford.
"I can't wait until Thursday," Ernie said.
Ernie, Everett and Robin have a sister, Mary, and another brother, Stanley, who just finished up playing his senior season at Anderson University.
Duke had the three Plumlee brothers in 2011-12 but they never played in a game together.