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It's easy to achieve them. Goalie. Taste your goals. Learn more at Goalie.com today. It's a really, really smart group of people who work on these things, on the scheduling, and I guarantee you they are modeling every possible set of scenarios. In the case of the NBA, they're thinking about moving games from cities like, say, San Francisco, to places where you don't have any reported cases or there haven't been any type of coronavirus outbreaks. Fans, due to unforeseen circumstances, the game tonight has been postponed. You are all safe.
We are all safe. The idea of playing without fans, we'll deal with it, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it, certainly would be weird. I'm told the SEC tournament has been canceled as well. You have to get the sense here that once one or two leagues start to cancel at a certain point, you can't not cancel. It just feels like the optics at a certain point for all the other leagues become borderline indefensible.
This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. Maybe at some point I will not remember March 12th as the date that March Madness was canceled in the face of a pandemic. Maybe I won't remember March 11th as that stunning night when the NBA shut down and soon after the domino effects. Weirdly enough, the NBA likes to pride itself that it was on the cutting edge and that it shut down. But if you remember, it was because of a game in Oklahoma City where multiple members of the Utah Jazz tested positive for COVID. They were the first cases. Rudy Gobert was the first case. He had drawn attention to himself by kind of poo-pooing the whole thing.
If I remember correctly, he had grabbed a microphone cover and kind of put his paws all over it, his mitts all over it, and was making fun of the idea. And so when he was the first NBA player who tested positive, there was a lot of chatter about that, and it did create major friction between he and Donovan Mitchell. That may have just been the latest chapter, if you will. But it was that game in Oklahoma City that ended up carrying the ripple effect throughout the NBA because there were officials that worked that game that were, if I remember correctly, in the Bay Area, then getting prepared to work a Warriors game, or they were working a Warriors game, until they found out that there had been a positive case, right? It was a few hours later that March Madness was cancelled, and a few hours after that that the NHL shut down. And a few hours around that, that all baseball teams were sent home from spring training. And not long after that, we started to see spring sports cancelled at various universities. I would take you back to the beginning of that week, though, because the NBA shut down on a Wednesday night, and Thursday was when we really saw the bulk of the sports hit pause. Sunday night of that week, so four days earlier, into Monday morning, we were here doing our show in the same seat, probably the same chair because they don't give us new chairs around here. Even when they lose arms, we have the same chairs.
There are many one-armed chairs in the CBS Sports Radio newsroom. Sunday night into Monday, Indian Wells cancelled its tournament. Now that tournament's going on right now. I have a best friend who works for Indian Wells. She's been there for a decade. I remember seeing the news on Sunday night late, because Indian Wells is east of LA, so it's Pacific time.
And I texted her, Brittany, what's going on? I just saw that your tournament was cancelled. Because they have athletes, tennis players, who come from all over the world, and because they have 500,000 fans at full strength, they have a half a million fans who come through there from all over the world as well. It's a Masters 1000 tournament, meaning it's just a step below the majors. It's very high profile. Because it's in LA, the weather is beautiful generally, or it's east of LA, it's in the desert, the weather is usually gorgeous.
It's a very high profile, attractive destination for tennis fans. Sunday night into Monday, it was cancelled. That would have been, I guess as the news was filtering, it would have been March 9th. And I remember her telling me, but she told me, they were taking major flak for making that decision.
You're jumping the gun, it's too early. Then I think it was Monday when the Ivy League cancelled its tournament. And I was still at the time working for Columbia Women's Basketball. They had made the Ivy League tournament for the first time ever, had one senior who I had called games for, for the better part of three seasons. And the Ivy League called off its tournament.
Also some derision there, some criticism, jumping the gun is too early. And then within days, dominoes dropping. And so you hear that walk down memory lane, if you will.
I can remember exactly where I was, talked about it with Jerry Palm when he was here in studio last hour. I'm so grateful. Sports are restored to be sure, but not just sports. Sports are a microcosm of society. It was a tough stretch, a lot of emotions. It took its toll in many ways. But there are positives, a silver lining to those very dark clouds. Many of us spent more time at home with family.
Not me, but I know my brother. He'll always look back on the spring of 2020 as a blessing because both of his daughters were home. And that'll be the last time, probably, that all four of them live under the same roof for an extended period of time. A lot of families were forced to spend more time together for better or for worse. More exercise because that was really the only thing that we could do getting outside. I hated working from home, but it's also changed our society. There are a lot of people who enjoy having either a fully remote schedule or a hybrid schedule.
Again, I hate it. I was begging my bosses from the end of May to come back into the studio. And they would not allow me to until right after July 4th. It took six weeks of me begging and pestering and explaining why this was the worst case scenario for me to work at home. And thankfully, when sports returned in late July, they had no choice at that point because I didn't have access to equipment at home.
I only had one producer. I needed to be here. So I was grateful when they allowed me to come back. But for months, it was a pretty lonely, quiet drive into New York City. I remember a couple of times I did. Actually, that was the summer when the George Floyd protests and demonstrations were taking place as well. And I remember a couple of times I had to go through checkpoints.
And while my papers were never checked by law enforcement, they did ask me where I was going a couple of times when I got pushed through a checkpoint. Very different times. I don't know that our society is better for it, but we're definitely different. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. You can find me on Twitter, ALawRadio, also on our Facebook page.
After Hours with Amy Lawrence, I'd love to hear from you. Three years exactly that March Madness was canceled. We get the new brackets. The brackets for March Madness 2023. Alabama, first time, the number one overall seed in the South region playing in Birmingham, which is pretty incredible. Out of that same South region, number two, Arizona, number three, Baylor.
We've got a conversation with star freshman guard, Keontae George, coming up about 30 minutes from now. He's coming off an ankle injury for the Baylor Bears. They finished the year with two consecutive losses to Iowa State. So they do not win the Big 12 tournament, but will play Friday in Denver as a three seed. Number four out of that region, UVA. So Virginia, the champion that went from becoming a footnote to history. Remember being the only number one seed ever upset by a 16, UMBC Retrievers. I actually have done many games on their campus because I used to work in the America East.
UVA suffered that fate, but the next year came back and won the championship for Tony Bennett. They lose in the ACC tournament on Saturday night to Duke, but still end up with a four seed against the Furman Paladins. Anyone want to venture a guess as to what a paladin is? Jay's face.
Jay, when you look it up, you Google it because I know that's what you're doing right now. You can tell us what a paladin is. First time for Furman since 1980 in the NCAA tournament.
As a 13 seed, they went 27 and 7. Are you prepared to tell people what a paladin is? I'm not sure. I'm looking at it and I'm still not sure that I understand exactly what this is. All right.
Well, you let me know when you figure it out. I feel like this is a good exercise for your brain. It's more than one person. Paladins, also called the 12 peers, are 12 legendary knights, the foremost members of Charlemagne's court in the 8th century. So they're knights?
I guess. Knights. A special kind of knight. But wouldn't it be paladins then? It is paladins. Oh, they are the paladins? Okay.
I just learned paladin and it's like... In the Midwest region, Houston, the number two overall seed, the top seed there out of the American Conference. A 31 and 3 record. They actually beat out Kansas for the number two overall seed. And then in that same region, Texas, the number two seed, the Big 12 champion over Kansas. Number three, Xavier, will take on the Kennesaw State Owls.
There's a true Cinderella first time in Division 1. And then Indiana out of the Big 10 is the number four seed in that region, making eight teams from the Big 10. We also have an interesting 5-12 matchup here.
But beware because the Miami Hurricanes are battle tested with Jim Larinaga. They made it to the ACC Semis. 25 wins and will take on the Drake Bulldogs out of the Mizzou Valley Conference. We are likely to talk to the head coach of Drake in the next couple of days. We're still waiting on travel schedules and when we can catch up with coaches.
But we do have a couple of different schools that we will also be highlighting over the next few days. The number one strength of schedule in the men's tournament belongs to Kansas far and away. The Jayhawks, even without Bill Self, they get to the Big 12 tournament game.
Now Self has been released from the hospital. He is going to rejoin the Jayhawks for their trip to Des Moines for their start in the NCAA tournament. And they will take on the number 16 seed, Howard.
First time in the field since 1992. Let's see, in that region, this is the one that Jerry Palm fingered as the toughest overall. UCLA, the Pac-12 champs, with Jaime Jaquez as the Pac-12 player of the year. The Bruins are the number two seed in that west region.
The number three is Gonzaga. If you missed my conversation with sixth man, Malachi Smith. Man, his story is unique.
Trust me, you're not going to find another one like his. Last year he was playing for Chattanooga. He was the Southern Conference player of the year that nearly took out Illinois in the opening round. So he was a Cinderella. Now he's on a Blue Blood with Gonzaga.
So that conversation was in our first hour from Spokane, Washington. Mark Few taking his Bulldogs to their 23 consecutive tournament. If you missed it, we're going to replay it in our final hour here on After Hours. And then number four, UConn. You may remember the Huskies started out 14-0 this season before they finally tripped up. And they will play Iona, coached by Rick Pitino, though maybe not for very long. Finally, the east region for the men's NCAA tournament. Purdue is the top seed. Big 10 regular season and tournament titles, though, dealing with a significant injury right now.
Let's see, in that region, Marquette is the two seed out of the Big East. Kansas State, one of the seven teams from the Big 12 that is in the field. So you had the SEC and the Big 10 with the most number of teams, eight each. And then the Big 12 was seven.
So a nice response from that conference, considering all of the uproar and the frustration. I think the little bit of scrambling in the wake of the announcement by both Oklahoma and Texas that they would be leaving for the SEC. And so there are seven teams from the Big 12, which is a great statement. 23-9 for Kansas State. Number four is Tennessee at 23-10. You've got Duke in that region, as well as Memphis, who upset Houston to get the automatic bid from the American conference. Remember, that's Penny Hardaway, who coaches in Memphis. So just a couple of notes that I took going back to the selection show.
Really enjoyed that. The women's selection show also took place on Sunday night. And you've got overwhelmingly South Carolina, the defending national champ, undefeated, who is the number one overall seed. Stanford and Virginia Tech also top seeds. And so a bit of a blue blood mixed with a more unfamiliar name, Virginia Tech had a great season. Stanford, though, is a team that perennially is going to be right there among the best seeds. And then Indiana. So Vatek in Indiana earning one seeds for the women's bracket for the first time in school history. And here's a bit of trivia.
We'll call it nerd alert here on After Hours. And this is from the women's tournament. Number one seeds have earned that championship, have been the last team standing at 10 consecutive women's tournaments. So for March Madness, a lot of times on the women's side, it's chalk. Not always, though, but the number one seed has won the championship at least 10 straight years.
Men lie, women lie, but the numbers don't. So I'd love to hear from you, but also have you fill out your After Hours bracket challenge. So that link will be posted.
Producer J brought his laptop. He'll make sure that's ready to go by Monday night. You'll be able to access it at the top of our Twitter page, After Hours, CBS or on our Facebook page. And every year we have people tell us, I don't know what to do. How do I save this?
Where do I go? Where's the link? So don't wait till the last second or you too will run out of time. 8 5 5 2 1 2 4 2 2 7 coming up.
Steph Curry put on a show reminiscent of his days at Davidson when he was leading that mid-major to an elite 8 and a sweet 16. But just for a second, will you allow me a moment away from sports because this headline caught my eye over the weekend. And I feel as though we are a show that does try to make sure that you're fully informed.
We're a full service operation. So are you ready for this? A giant clump of seaweed. I'm not joking about this either.
It's not an April Fool's joke. A giant clump of seaweed is headed toward Florida's Gulf Coast. And poses a great danger.
Why? We're not just talking about the seaweed that grabs your foot when you're swimming in the ocean. No, we're talking about seaweed that's bigger than the ocean.
Are you ready? It's called a bloom. I didn't know that. This giant seaweed bloom is 5000 miles wide. Jay's laughing. That's because you don't live on Florida's Gulf Coast. It poses a great danger to the people who live on Florida's Gulf Coast. Oh, I'm not laughing because it's funny. I'm laughing at the insanity of the size of that. That's unfathomable. Do you know how large it is? It can be viewed from space. That's how big this damn thing is. It's a seaweed bloom. They can see it from space.
Isn't that insane? Where does that come from? How does it begin? That's a great question. I'm going to assume it's rhetorical because I'm not out there in the water.
It's called a seaweed bloom around 5000 miles wide, is twice the width of the United States, and is the largest in history. They think. Going back to when these things began. Measured. To be measured. So it's here. It's drifting.
This is crazy to me. It is drifting between the Atlantic coast of Africa. OK, so the the near coast of Africa to us and the Gulf of Mexico.
It's thick. It is a haven for zillions of types of marine life. It absorbs carbon dioxide, so it's actually good for us if we're talking about. Well, climate change, yada, yada, yada. Well, right, but but climate change is is kind of where the CO2 comes in.
Anyway, doesn't matter. Great habitat for marine life. Yes, it is great to have plant life, marine life that can help us with our climate. But what about Florida? That's the problem. It can have disastrous consequences.
I had no idea. As it gets closer to shore. This is ew. Apparently it will start to decompose if it gets up onto the shore. It can release hydrogen sulfide. Which is not only smelly, but also makes it really hard for people to breathe. So it causes respiratory problems for people as it starts to dissolve and decompose. It also has a negative impact on air and water.
So according to a research professor at Florida Atlantic, oh, by the way, they've got a team in the NCAA tournament. Brian Lapointe told NBC News, what we're seeing in the satellite imagery, satellite imagery does not bode well for a clean beach year. Yikes. Apparently there are people along the coast of Florida that are already complaining about burning eyes and breathing problems because that's how big this damn thing is. Dead fish are washing up on beaches. They've had a flare up of toxic red algae, red tide algae this week. So there's already a bunch of seaweed that's there on shore in the same area. And now comes a 5,000 mile wide clump or bloom of seaweed.
Trying to figure out if I can see when it's supposed to arrive. No, I don't know if I see that in this news story, but I felt as though it was our duty to let you know that there is a giant clump of seaweed, a blob of seaweed, if you will, that can be seen from outer space that's twice the width of the U.S. and is headed straight for Florida. Get out while you can.
This is insane. Ron DeSantis, he's going to be the man in, oh, sorry, we don't talk politics. I was going to make a joke, but I don't want to make a joke because we don't talk politics here on the show.
Just he's going to be in the spotlight again. I don't think I'll visit Florida, the Gulf Coast, anytime soon. It's going to really hurt their tourism this summer, which is horrible for a bunch of businesses down there if it hits. Do you visit Florida in the summer? I feel like that's one of the places you stay away from. Well, it's humid.
Yeah. When I'd go to Florida, I'd tend to go more in like February or, yeah, usually like February, wintertime to try to escape the cold and get some heat. But yeah, Florida in the summer is just humid. Oh, I remember this time last year on Selection Sunday, you were in Tampa, singing at the airport trying to get out of Tampa, and that's how you were doing your show prep. I was at a wedding. Yeah, I was coming back from Tampa, then I did the show. Yeah, that was fun. You did the show. I like how you put that.
It's good. Jay was in an airport writing emails. It was our first Selection Sunday. The host was not thrilled.
She was not thrilled. Okay, speaking of hot, we've got one hell of a performance from Steph Curry attempting to steal the March Madness headlines from the college teams on Saturday night. Though, Duke put on quite a show as well at the ACC tournament.
So a juxtaposition, if you will. On Twitter, ALawRadio, also on our Facebook page, still to come, a conversation with Baylor star freshman, Keontae George. And don't forget, we've got the After Hours Bracket Challenge that you'll be able to participate in as we march through the days of the week. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence, CBS Sports Radio. You are listening to the After Hours Podcast.
Roach comes to collect, working his way to the free throw line. Jeremy trying to step through, cannot, spins, fades away, and hits! My goodness!
A whirling derby. I'm JR of CBS Sports Radio, and I want to introduce you to a new podcast titled Agents of Inclusion, brought to you by Special Olympics, Odyssey, and JR Sport Reproductions. Every Wednesday, we'll be speaking with a different Special Olympics athlete to share their stories of perseverance, accomplishment, and path towards inclusion. We don't want you to just listen. We want you to become an active agent of inclusion as well.
Special Olympics, Agents of Inclusion, find it on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts. Roach has 16, 49, 43, 12 to go. He works his way to the right, wants to drop a hop step, forced it up, off the window, counted and a foul! Jeremy Roach in takeover mode down the stretch yet again. Virginia's not going to foul. Final nine seconds, everybody on their feet.
Procter grinning ear to ear. And for Duke, the dynasty continues. They've won their 22nd ACC title. 59 to 49 the final score as they beat Virginia. And for John Shire in his first season, he's an ACC champion as a head coach, the first in the history of the conference to do it as a head coach and a player.
This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. Pretty emotional win for the Duke Blue Devils, their fan base, John Shire who took over for Mike Krzyzewski and his family, his wife, who were over the moon in the ACC tournament championship. And you hear the call there with David Shoemate on the Blue Devils radio network. John Shire interviewed on the ACC network and he was calm, cool, collected.
His mentor taught him well. But yeah, a pretty amazing exclamation point to his first season as the coach in the ACC. It's pretty surreal. You know, for me, it was emotional after we won.
And like you mentioned, we were up on stage and was just looking around and see all the Duke fans. They stuck with us. You know, we've had to grow up this year. It hasn't been smooth sailing. Most seasons aren't, but especially this year with such a young team, I'm just proud of the perseverance, the way they've stuck with it and stayed together.
It's not easy to do and they've done a great job. And to see them be rewarded with a championship is special. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence here on CBS Sports Radio. A young team, Coach Shire references. I still remember when he played.
I know many of you do as well. One of his top young players is a freshman center by the name of Kyle Filipowski. And he had 20 points, 10 rebounds, 3 steals, 35 minutes, big play after big play down the stretch against UVA. And he explains why he believed that Duke was still the right place for him with Shire at the helm instead of Coach K. These are all the conversations I had with him.
You know, having these same like visions as him. You know, we were actually having a conversation one time before I committed. You know, talking about winning championships together. And while we were doing that, we were talking about winning championships. And at the same time, he told me that he accidentally knocked over his ACC championship trophy.
I don't know which one, but from the past, you know. And, you know, I just kind of take those things as like a little sign, you know. And I just felt, you know, in my gut that, you know, I wanted to do this with Coach Shire.
But also I also believe that the guys he was bringing in alongside me, you know, we were going to be something special. And so Duke ends up winning that ACC tournament. Kind of a nice feather in the cap and the start of a new era earns the 5 seed in what is potentially the toughest region in the NCAA field of 68. Purdue is the top seed. That's the east bracket.
Duke will take on Oral Roberts, a 30 win team coming up Thursday in Orlando. So even as Duke is taking on Virginia for the ACC crown, Steph Curry giving us a little March Madness of his own. If you missed this, go back and watch the highlights. With two minutes to go in the fourth quarter between the Bucks and the Warriors, Steph had 16 points. He finished with 36.
And scores! A driving layup. Got knocked down on the play.
He's slow to get up. What a way. Oh, we're tied. Curry scored the last eight. Carter reaching in. Curry dribbles across the half court. Stops, backs up, shoots a three early. It's on the way.
Got it! He tied the game! 18 seconds to go.
We're tied at 1-11. Three to shoot. Dribbles on Holiday. Spins. Pumping. Fires away.
Up and no good. Rebound Thompson. Out to Draymond. Dribbles by Lopez. Down the lanes. Flipped it up and in! Head over heels on the baseline. Warriors lead by seven.
Pretty impressive performance. One of those where your mouth is agape. And you're just sitting there thinking, this is Steph Curry at his finest. Curry! And he was making all kinds of those mean faces and doing the shimmies and the high fives and the crowd inside the Chase Center going nuts.
So, some stomping, some fist pumps, some loud yells. This was Steph Curry at his finest and it reminded me a little bit of when he was at Davidson and we were first introduced to the future MVP, the future NBA champion, the future Hall of Famer. One of the best shooters that the game has ever seen. So, Steve Kerr trying to once again give us some perla tips to describe this performance from Steph. Steph was incredible and he did it against one of the great defenders in the league in Drew Holliday. Drew's an amazing player. So strong and quick and just never, never quits on any possession and it's amazing watching those two guys battle.
It was awesome. As I say, he had 16 points with two minutes to go. They go into overtime. He hits a flurry of threes, also has six rebounds, four assists, two steals, and a blocked shot. And his, it's not just his offense that's contagious, but the defense of the Warriors that gets them going. Now, they don't always play great defense. They suck at defense on the road. But when they do play D, to be able to get those fast breaks, that's classic Warrior basketball under Steve Kerr.
Tim Roy with the calls on the Warriors Radio Network. By the way, Andrew Wiggins is not with the team right now because of personal reasons. And Steph wanted to remember him post game. Friend to friend, teammate to teammate, just sending him support. You know, this is a tough situation in terms of him being away for so long, but necessary. Life is bigger than basketball and, you know, whatever him and his family going through, that's all that matters. And whenever he's ready to come back, I'm sure he will. That's how he's built in terms of being available. And I know, I know he's missing, you know, the vibe and being with us and we miss him too.
So it's interesting. There's such a big spotlight on what we do on a daily basis. And the fact that, you know, we have so many people that rely on us on a daily basis to be able to give that energy back to your family is huge.
So we support him and all of that. And whenever he's ready to come back, he'll be back. The Warriors need to figure out their road woes, but they definitely got a huge win over the Bucks without Giannis, by the way. He wasn't playing in that game, but Drew Holliday, he was special too.
He hit four big threes, didn't shoot great over the course of the game, but 39 minutes taking charge with nearly a triple-double on the road at Golden State. All right, coming up, a little more from the football world. Odell Beckham Jr. holding a workout with a bunch of teams on hand, including the Browns. So that's still to come next hour, but straight ahead, a conversation with Baylor Uber freshman. So super guard, Keontae George, as the Bears stumble late in the regular season and the Big 12 tournament, but still earn a three seed for the upcoming March Madness version 2023.
You are listening to the After Hours Podcast. Truly, it's a tremendous year. Anytime you're the ninth overall seed in an NCAA tournament, that's a lot to be proud of. Coming off two losses, we want to get that taste out of our mouth, want to get back to playing and hopefully winning. But at the same time, you know, it's the NCAA tournament, it's win or go home. So excited we have a couple more days of practice to get better.
This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. Two years ago, Scott Drew led the Baylor Bears to a national championship. And now they are back in the tournament again as a three seed, 20 years in for Scott Drew. Man, I can remember when it first started, 22 and 10 are the Bears out of the Big 12 playing Friday in Denver against UC Santa Barbara.
It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. Star freshman guard, Keontae George, powering the Baylor Bears and that incredible backcourt. Though he's coming off an ankle injury and so the last two games losses against Iowa State, had a chance to catch up with him right after the selection show. And as a freshman, had to ask him, what's it like to see your name on the screen? What was your emotion, Keontae? You know, it was ultimately, you know, a blessing seeing our name, you know, up there, getting a top seed, three seed. You know, I've always dreamed about playing in the NCAA tournament. So, you know, I was going to be excited. You know, I was real excited seeing our name up there, you know, in a big time tournament like that.
So, you know, I'm just ready to go. How much motivation do you take away after not playing the way that you wanted to as a team in the Big 12 tournament? Feeling like you didn't accomplish what you wanted to there, but now you go into the NCAA's?
Yeah, for sure. You know, we took a tough loss to a great Iowa State team and, you know, that just gave us extra motivation. Because now, you know, we knew we were going to be in the tournament, but it's really going to go home now.
So, it lets us know, like, we can't make, we've got to clean up our mental mistakes. You know, we've got to play like it's our last. And, you know, we came together as a team and we understand, you know, what our goal is. And, you know, we're going to do everything it takes to be able to achieve that goal.
Yeah, it's a different perspective when it becomes you win or you go home. All right, so my next question, Keontae, how's the ankle? It's doing well. I'm continuing to rehab, continuing to keep my body in shape. You know, just working on things I need to work on to be able to feel 100 percent. Any chance that you watched Patrick Mahomes perform on his bum ankle during the NFL playoffs and you know that it can be done?
Yeah, I mean, I've heard, I heard about it, not too much of a football fan, but I definitely heard about it. But, you know, I like to lay myself a tough guy. So, you know, I'm going to do whatever it takes to be able to be out there with my brothers. In the last couple of games against Iowa State, you were out there, you were logging the minutes, not the same rhythm that we see from you. So how do you get back into that great shooting rhythm and that comfort zone that you've had for most of the season? Yeah, you know, just coming off an injury was one of my first big time injuries. And, you know, just getting that lift back, you know, getting that pop back and, you know, just regaining that confidence. You know, I put in a lot of work and covered a lot when you put in a lot of work. So, you know, just like I said, getting that lift back, getting that pop back that I've been playing with the whole season.
You know, just continuing to better my body each and every day. Your team did not have a season without any adversity. There were some stretches where you guys really stepped into it deep and you played some real tough opponents. Obviously the Big 12 is very tough. How would you feel like the adversity changed your team this season?
Yeah, we can go as early as, you know, Virginia. You know, they're a really great team and, you know, we got busted in the mouth and that was kind of a, you know, a wake up call. And then we went to on the road to play a really tough Marquette team and everybody see how that went. And, you know, we just did it with a bounce back against, you know, Gonzaga and that's when we really found ourselves.
And like you said, just dig deep and figured it out. And times like that, you know, really won't prepare us. You know, we really wanted those times to prepare us for, you know, where we're at now. And we've seen that we're able to do it. And, you know, even the Big 12, we're only three. And then we went on that, you know, winning streak. So we know what we're capable of. And, you know, if we just play Baylor basketball and, you know, control what we can control, things will take care of themselves.
Keonte George is with us here after hours on CBS Sports Radio getting set for his first NCAA tournament. You mentioned the Big 12, obviously a really tough conference with, gosh, seven teams that are into the field. How did you adjust to that physical style of play in the Big 12 as a freshman?
Yeah, it just starts in the summer, conditioning your body, staying in shape, you know, cleaning up little things they need cleaned up. And, you know, that was what I did. And, you know, just asking a lot of questions, just, you know, kind of getting to feel what it's going to be like before I really experienced. So I feel like that really gave me a, you know, a head start myself. And, you know, just in there, the physical play, it's just, you know, who's tougher, who wants it more than that. That's what I really developed over, you know, the seasons as far, you know, playing in the Big 12. It's like a war out there sometimes, isn't it? Yes, ma'am. It definitely is.
Definitely a war every night. So Keontae, tell me why Baylor? Because you were recruited by a ton of different schools. You really had your pick.
Why did you decide to go to Waco? Coach Drew, he's, you know, he's accomplished over the years here. And, you know, I just really, you know, believe in the culture, you know, our culture of joy. We really embrace that. And, you know, we also talk about playing for our audience of warrants. And, you know, Coach Drew, you know, he wants us to ultimately, you know, be the best version of ourselves on the court. But, you know, he wants us to win the game of life.
And, you know, I really wanted to go somewhere that they not only cared about me on the court, but also on the court as well. And that's what I got here coming to Baylor. What does the culture of joy mean?
What does it look like? Our culture of joy is Jesus over yourself. And, you know, that's what it stands for when we try to embrace that. You know, Baylor is across our chest. And, you know, our last name is, you know, in the back. So, and like I said before, we play for our audience of warrants. You know, that's just what the culture is like here. That's what it's like. You know, we carry ourselves in that way. This is a time where we show the world what it looks like on the court, what our culture is. Well, as someone who makes faith the most important thing in my life, I appreciate that. So, thank you for sharing that with us. Keonte George from Baylor is with us after hours.
CBS Sports Radio. So, do you expect to be nervous stepping on the court for your first ever NCAA tournament game? You know, it's going to be some, no, it's going to be a little jittery. I'm going to be a little jittery.
But, you know, I know the work I put in and I know the work that the guys put in. And there's no need to be nervous when, you know, you prepare for moments like that. So, I know I'll be ready to go. I know the guys will be ready to go.
It's going to be a farge. Did you watch the game where Baylor won its national championship a couple years ago? Yeah, I definitely did watch that game. Definitely did. You mentioned Scott Drew and what he does in terms of building a culture.
And we obviously know 20 years, his resume speaks for itself. Basketball-wise, how do you feel like you changed or your game improved over the course of this year working under him? Yeah, you know, credit goes through, credit to everybody on the staff. You know, I really feel like I've taken that big jump in, you know, my reach, just knowing when to get the ball somewhere, knowing where my guys will be. I really feel like I took a big jump in that. And as well as, you know, staying more consistent on the defensive end, being in the stands, using my voice, you know, just being a presence. You know, talk about with me being a stat sheet stuffer. And, you know, that's what I've tried to embrace this season.
And that's when I feel like I made a big jump. All right, before I let you go, defense has been at times a challenge for you guys. You talked about some of the games in which, especially earlier in the season, there were teams that were able to put up points. So now what's your defensive philosophy going into this tournament? How do you play D? Defense is a want to. And we've come to a point now where we understand where if we're in front of somebody, we don't let them get by us.
We know our brother got our back. We need help, but, you know, we just got to play gritty. And then, like I said, always play with joy. We just got to go out there, have fun, and then the rest take care of itself.
You are right. It is effort, but it's also a team game on defense. Can't do it without the guys that are out there with you. Well, Keontae, congratulations. It's about to be NCAA tournament time for you for the first time. I'm glad your ankle's getting better. We're rooting for you guys.
I'll always love Scott Drew. So thanks for a couple of minutes. Thank you.
Thank you. I've always felt like the teams that are battle tested, meaning they have not only played in a really tough conference, they've had a very challenging strength of schedule. So considering the Big 12, Kansas, far and away, the toughest strength of schedule in the NCAA field of 68. But the strength of schedule is really challenging for teams that come out of these great conferences like the Big 12, the Big 10, the SEC. Not as much right now for the ACC. But Baylor has that element of having gone toe-to-toe with some of the tougher teams and tournament teams like Gonzaga, like Marquette, like what did he say about UVA early in the season when they stumbled. They've also tasted recent defeat in the Big 12 tournament, not even getting past the quarterfinals. To me, that makes them gritty. Not gritty, but gritty, as he mentioned. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio.
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