Summer 2024

Baylor vs. Houston Final Four matchup pits father Alvin Brooks vs. son Alvin Brooks

As soon as the 2021 NCAA Tournament bracket was released, they saw the possibility. On Saturday, it becomes reality.

Longtime University of Houston assistant basketball coach Alvin Brooks Jr. will be on the bench for the Cougars’ first Final Four appearance since 1984. Down on the other end of the court will be Alvin Brooks III, an assistant for Baylor who has helped the Bears reach the Final Four for the first time since 1950.

>> Subscribe to Sports Spectrum Magazine for more stories where sports and faith connect <<

The father and son hate to see the other lose, but one will have to as the other gets a shot at the national championship Monday night.

“It’s hard to get here,” the younger Brooks said this week on a Zoom call with his father. “But then to get to the Final Four in the same year and then play each other in the first semifinal is amazing, unbelievable.”

It’ll actually be the last week that the elder Brooks, 61, coaches with Houston, as he accepted the head coaching position at Lamar, his alma mater, on Thursday. In two previous matchups between their teams, when Brooks III, 41, was with Sam Houston State, Dad got the win both times.

Baylor is a slight favorite for Saturday. The South Region’s No. 1-seeded Bears are 26-2 on the season, and have won each of their four NCAA Tournament games by at least nine points. The Midwest Region’s No. 2-seeded Cougars are 28-3 this season and have won 11 games in a row.

After the matchup was made official Monday night following Baylor’s 81-72 win over Arkansas, which followed Houston’s 67-61 win over Oregon State, the Brookses found each other at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown and gave each other a big hug.

“I can’t wait to see what God [has] in store,” Brooks III posted on Twitter along with the video of them seeing each other. “This is a big moment for our family!”

Both coaches mention their faith on social media. Brooks III wrote “God is good” with some pictures of him cutting down the net after advancing to the Final Four. And in the elder Brooks’ Twitter bio, he writes, “My Faith Is Greater Than My Fear!”

Tip-off for the Baylor-Houston matchup is scheduled for 5:14 p.m. ET on Saturday on CBS. No. 11-seeded UCLA will take on No. 1-seeded Gonzaga in the second semifinal, with the winners facing Monday night for the national title. There is guaranteed to be one Alvin Brooks coaching in that game.

Baylor men advance to first Final Four since 1950: ‘We’re here for His glory’
Grand Canyon’s Oscar Frayer rededicated his life to Christ days before tragic death
Baylor star Jared Butler leads team in scoring, teaches Sunday School in free time
Matthew Mayer plays for Jesus, helps Baylor basketball advance to NCAA’s Sweet 16
Oral Roberts advances to Sweet 16: ‘We’re just happy to be a school that glorifies God’