UPPER MARLBORO (USA TODAY/WUSA9) - A year after his brother took home the NCAA Championship with Villanova, Maryland native Nate Britt and the Tarheels took home the same crown Monday night in Arizona.
Britt, who plays guard for the University of North Carolina, played with his team against his brother Kris Jenkins last year in the NCAA tournament.
But since Villanova eliminated from the tournament, Jenkins has been at his brother's games consistently, wearing UNC gear and cheering him on.
On Monday night, after the Tarheels clinched the title, he was overjoyed for his brother's team.
Jenkins stood doubled over, his hands on his knees to steady himself.
The emotions he felt surprised him — he didn’t cry last year when his own team had won the title on his stunning shot.
Kris Jenkins, watching his brother Nate Britt win his own national championship: pic.twitter.com/CPJckN5ROj— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) April 4, 2017
But here he was, crying for his brother, Britt, and his brother’s teammates, who all finally got their redemption … from an excruciating loss that he’d been responsible for. Britt understood all season long that he could never escape that.
He’d always see highlights of The Shot, or get asked about it.
He’d known his brother — Britt’s parents were Jenkins’s legal guardians at one point, and they all still celebrate holidays together — had the ultimate one-up on him. Though Britt wanted to use last year’s loss to motivate himself and his teammates, he didn’t dare let himself imagine what winning a game like that could feel like.
“Every time I tried to think about us winning it, I could only think about last year’s outcome,” Britt said.
But now, as he sat on the opposite end of that kind of result — a winner this time, part of the 2017 national champion team — Britt let himself off the hook.
“Kris can jab at me about him hitting the shot now; I don’t care,” Britt said, smile as wide as his ears. “Big brother got a ring, now I’ve got a ring. It’s all good now. … “We’re living the dream right now. I can’t complain about anything for the rest of my life now.” said Jenkins: “We’ve got two national championships in the family now. … He deserves it. He deserves all of it.”
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