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Learn more at Goalie.com today. They're really funny. I wish they would do a podcast. Maybe they do.
I've never heard it. But I wish they would do a podcast like the Kelsey brothers do. And maybe it will inspire them, since they're twins, to do a podcast so that we can hear their humor on display.
But they very often do use social media to share their unique perspective and their humor. And obviously, real good players have made a living in the league now for many years. But another reason to like Lopez is because he's going to stand up for his teammate and is not going to allow his teammate. In this case, Giannis Antetokounmpo, who just returned from, I think it was three games away, just returned from an injury absence.
It's not going to let him get pushed around. Milwaukee and Sacramento. Who would have thought that would be a game that you really had to pay attention to on a Monday night in March?
And yet it definitely is. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. Man, Manic Monday. A mad Monday. Definitely March Madness of a different sort. Or really, just all kinds of sport.
And sort. We got a lot to talk about. The NFL is a bully. I tell you that all the time. It doesn't ever really take a break anymore. And because of the Super Bowl, well actually, the Super Bowl getting pushed back is a result of the NFL expanding the regular season. So remember, they moved to 18 weeks, 17 games, which means then everything got pushed back in the playoffs. That has resulted in the NFL now going toe to toe with March Madness in this legal tampering period and the free agency to come. Now we don't yet have the decision or the news that so many people are waiting on, which is the fate, the future, the feelings of Aaron Rodgers.
We'll give you the update. As of very recently, a couple hours ago, all day long though, there were reports and then refutes of those reports. And then reports and then more speculation and rumor and ultimately a whole lot of nothing. Don't make s*** up, okay? A lot of people talking actually. That's what's really happened.
And did you all see Aaron's latest tweet? Okay, I am not cool. I will just confess. I have no idea what this means. I'm going to spell it for you. If it's vulgar, please forgive me because I honestly have no idea what this means. Jay's already laughing at me because that's what Jay does because, you know, he's so super cool. S, this is in all caps, S-U-L-L-L-L-L-L period.
Two laughing so hard you're crying emojis. No idea what that means. If he's referring to a player, an athlete by a nickname.
I was trying to think about who made headlines in sports tonight. Maybe he's referring to a friend of his, famous friend of his. It got retweeted 3,140 times.
It's been liked nearly 17,000 times. Why am I the only person who has no idea what he was talking about? Jay, any ideas since, you know, you're in there giggling away?
I'll be totally honest. I have no idea what that means. But your first instinct was to laugh at me. I like that. That's good.
I just was laughing that he would tweet something. I don't know. I have no idea. So? Yeah, I don't know what it means either.
I'm almost afraid to say it out loud in case it is something we're not supposed to be saying on the radio. Yeah, so not a clue. There are people who are speculating it's a restaurant in New York. So this has to mean he's on his way to New York. One guy writes back to him, Hey, I hope you're having a nice day. Just want you to know my mental well-being is directly connected to your upcoming decision. Would you please reach out to me and let me know what's going to happen? People are crazy.
Like really crazy. So I am and I'm done looking at the responses. This is why I do not follow sports fans on social media. Because their language and the inappropriate responses. No.
Animals. Thank you. So I'm not looking anymore to find out if there's some type of an explanation. I only know that I have zero idea what that means. And yet it's almost as though everyone else knows the joke except for me. Well, and Jay. So if anyone has any idea what Aaron Rodgers is talking about and why it's been liked 17000 times on Twitter, I would love a little insight.
You can find me on Twitter a law radio or on our Facebook page after hours with Amy Lawrence. The nor'easter is bearing down on millions of people right now in the northeast, which which makes sense. It's torrential downpours and winds that are picking up for my neighborhood. So a lot of flooding and so much traffic. Oh, my gosh.
On Monday evening, Princess Leia forged her way through. I know that there are millions of people in line for potentially a foot or more of snow over the next day. Plus the next 24 hours or so in my neighborhood, we're not supposed to get that much snow in New York City. It's supposed to be more rain and maybe some sleet than snow.
I and then by Friday, I think it's supposed to be up in the 50s ever since. Such nonsense. And so it's going to be a lot of a lot of fluid, a lot of liquid and a lot of snow for a lot of places.
So I hope that you will stay safe if you don't have to go anywhere. Don't in the in the face of a nor'easter. Gosh, it's a term I grew up with. Of course, since my days in New Hampshire, I saw it's my mom's favorite word.
Every big storm. That's what it's called. It's after hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. We are firmly focused on not just the NFL and its legal tampering period. And as they say, we'll give you what is the very latest or not on Aaron Rodgers. Kind of feel like he's watching all the reports and is just going to do the opposite so he can be a contrarian. I mean, that's kind of what I would do. I like to do the opposite of whatever one thinks I'm going to do. But this is his career we're talking about.
So at some point he's going to have to make a choice whether or not he likes it, likes being coy. But in addition to that, as we prepare for the NCAA tournament and Tuesday night, we've got the first four in Dayton for the men's tourney. So we will actually see a pair of games on national TV. Two amazing conversations on tonight's show. First of all, Miami Hurricanes coach Jim Lariñaga. I learned that by talking to coach today. I remember when he was with George Mason and they made an incredible run to the Final Four. Now he's with Miami. He's been there for a decade or so.
He's still as passionate as ever. You don't want to miss this conversation. It's coming up in 30 minutes here on CBS Sports Radio. Miami Hurricanes a 5 seed this year out of the ACC and will take on the Drake Bulldogs.
And that is a game that a lot of people are picking as one to watch because Drake is really experienced, has a player of the year candidate in Tucker DeVries. So we'll let you hear coach Lariñaga or as I say Lariñaga. I asked him because I hear it pronounced a bazillion different ways. His response is priceless and he's a great character.
So Jim coming up this hour on the show and then a little bit later on after hours. Jalen Slauson from the Furman Paladins. We googled Paladins on last night's show. Do you know that as Furman heads to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1980. Of course none of its players were alive the last time the Dins went dancing. They call themselves the Dins. The Dins went dancing.
Their head coach wasn't alive the last time the Dins went dancing. You do not want to miss this conversation with Jalen. He's funny.
He's long winded. I'm not sure I've ever spoken to an athlete who tells stories quite like he does. And a pretty incredible 12 month arc for the Paladins. If you don't remember what happened to them last year in the Southern Conference Tournament Championship. They lost on a heartbreaking buzzer beater. Now for Chattanooga. It was an incredible moment. Chattanooga secures its spot in the NCAA tournament by beating Furman with that late three pointer.
So it was a stunning finish. Whether you're Chattanooga or whether you're the Paladins. Just as a side note, we spoke to Malachi Smith who was on that Chattanooga roster and was a Southern Conference Player of the Year last season.
Jalen is the current Southern Conference Player of the Year. And for 12 months, Furman had to live with that. Getting a chance at redemption and now finally dancing for the first time since 1980. You don't want to miss either one of these conversations. By the way, all of our interviews, all of our conversations, every hour of the show is podcasted separately.
And we put that link out every morning on Twitter and Facebook. You have not lived until you've tried to explain to a senior what a podcast is. I had that conversation with my mom today.
Oh dear. She knew podcasts but she thought it was something different. My mom had no idea that our show was podcasted even though I frequently send her links to our podcast. I'm not sure how that escaped her. But I love her anyway.
She's one of the smartest people I know and yet sometimes when it comes to technology, oh my gosh, she gets very flustered. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. Alright, the latest on Aaron Rodgers, as it were. Connor Hughes covers the Jets for SNY, which is a regional outlet in the state of New York.
And just a couple hours ago, he tells us what he knows. There is no official trade between the New York Jets and the Green Bay Packers for Aaron Rodgers. You know, the thing that this is all contingent on, and we've talked about this over and over and over again, is Aaron Rodgers going to the Green Bay Packers and saying, hey, I want to play for the New York Jets, trade me to the New York Jets. And once Aaron Rodgers says that to Green Bay, then the Jets and the Packers can put the finishing touches on a trade that they've been talking about dating back to the Super Bowl and send Aaron Rodgers to New York to quarterback the New York Jets.
As of right now, and this is again a very, very fluid situation. So as the time that I am saying this right now, Aaron Rodgers has not told the Packers I want to be traded to the Jets. So the Packers and the Jets have not finalized a trade.
There is no contract, Jets contract with Aaron Rodgers's name on it. There is no faxed over trade that's signed by all parties that makes this official. It is not officially done yet. And until it is official, it's not going to be. Until it's official, it's not going to be. I like that from Connor Hughes.
So what's the holdup then? There were reports out there early on Monday that it was a quote done deal that came from Trey Wingo. Oh my gosh, Trey Ringo, Trey Ringo. Oh my goodness, Trey's actually a friend of mine, so that's kind of funny. Don't tell him I said that.
You know how I get starting and I get going too fast, I start going too fast, and then I start to swap syllables. Trey Wingo reported earlier on Monday it was a quote done deal. And yet Connor Hughes is saying it's not. I think it's interesting that he points to Aaron being the holdup.
Because, okay just stick with me here for a second. If the Packers are already determined to trade Aaron Rodgers, what does it matter? What if Aaron comes back to them, this again is so much like Brett Favre. What if Aaron comes back to them and says, no I want to stay here?
I don't think the Packers are in that same space. We've heard from Brian Gutenkunst, very non-committal and vague. Mark Murphy, not so vague, speaking about Aaron's tenure in Green Bay in the past tense.
We just heard him speaking to multiple TV stations in Green Bay on Sunday. And it certainly sounds like they're trying to find an amenable situation that's a win-win for both parties. Not together, but separate. I mean I can't get into all the details, but it's a situation where I think we wanted to help Aaron achieve what he wanted as well as the Packers. And hopefully create a situation where it's kind of a win for both sides. Both sides. Not together, but as in both sides of the field. Both sides of the line.
Both opposing sides. So why do the Packers care? I guess because they want Aaron's permission. They don't want to look like jerks if they trade him without hearing from him first.
And I just can't figure out if he's waiting because he wants to, because he's not sure. I guess the issue would be what if he would prefer to retire. That just seems very unlikely. According to Connor Hughes, there's something else holding up the deal. Across the NFL on Monday, with the start of the legal tampering period, is a lot of player-to-player talking.
A lot of agent-to-player talking. And what there have been legitimate rumors and murmurs of is that Aaron Rodgers is beginning to talk to other perspective free agents or unrestricted free agents about joining him in New York with the Jets. But again, those talks might indicate that Aaron Rodgers is headed to the Jets.
But as of right now, because there has been no official statement from Rodgers, there has been no official trade worked out to this point. What I can tell you is that there is legitimate optimism that this is going to get done. All signs are pointing in the direction that this is going to get done. But as of right now, it is not officially done.
So we continue to wait a little bit longer. Not officially done. Not a done deal.
All signs pointing to it. Potentially, Aaron is trying to recruit fellow free agents, well, other free agents who might want to go to New York with him. Now, see, that to me is suspect because the Jets are desperately trying to clear salary cap just so that they can absorb his contract or as much of his contract as they will be required to absorb. And they're going to be right up against it because his contract is massive unless the Packers pick it all up, which seems unlikely. And so I don't know if that makes sense to me, but we'll see. Any day now.
Any day now. I'm drumming. Drumming my fingers on the desk. Dustin sends me this tweet, A-Law Radio. His, this is referring to Aaron's post, is probably a nickname for Rasul Douglas.
Oh my gosh, Amy, what is wrong with you? For Rasul Douglas, Sewell, that kept tweeting today saying he has A-Rod's phone. Oh, so maybe it wasn't Aaron, maybe it was Sewell, as in Rasul. Alright, that would make more sense to me.
No, I don't feel quite so uncool. Thank you for the insight. I appreciate the tweet.
So A-Law Radio or our Facebook page. Coming up, bottom of the hour, Jim Larinaga from the Miami Hurricanes. A little more March Madness, so but ahead, fight, fight, fight.
It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence, CBS Sports Radio. Off to Giannis. Giannis threw everyone, and he'll plunge it down with a one-hand slam. Oh, the Greek Freak coming through like a hot knife through butter. Final horn sounds, and it is now 14 consecutive wins against Sacramento.
This one was a little bit tighter throughout. A heck of a game, but the Bucks come away with a 133-124 win to take down Sacramento and keep themselves rolling. Welcome back to the Greek Freak who had 46 points tonight.
This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. Yeah, we'll talk about Giannis and his return, 46 points, a dozen rebounds in 34 minutes. Chris Middleton, a big game as well, 31 plus 9 assists. But if you didn't stick around to the end of this game in the Bay Area in Sacramento, well, you missed some fireworks. Giannis gets, wow, Lyles comes right after Giannis.
Oh, look at this. He just punched Lopez. We got a scrum going. Trey Lyles was pushing Giannis, and Lopez did not take kindly to it, got right in his face, and Lyles punches him. Well, Lyles is going to be gone for some time.
That was unprovoked, really. And we'll see what they do about Lopez here. That's going to be the interesting part, because Brook was coming to the defense of Giannis.
As a good teammate does. Lyles came right up to Giannis while he was trying to dribble the clock out, shoved him twice, and Lopez did not take kindly to it. I don't think any coach would tell you they'd won anything other than what Lopez did right there for his teammate. Just unfortunate. You know, I think it was a great game. A lot of good things happened, and so, you know, impressed by Sacramento and the way they played. You know, good for our guys to fight back in the second half, and I'm really not going to say anything about what did, didn't happen.
It was just, to me, it was unfortunate. I don't know what happened, but we ain't taking no s*** from nobody. Trust me on that.
And they all going to have each other's back in there. That don't mean we're going to go out there and start something. We're not. But we're going to stand up for ourselves.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. Trey Lyles did start this. What are we talking about, Mike Brown? And I do appreciate that he's saying, hey, we're not going to back down from anyone. But Trey Lyles is the one who started this. Trey Lyles is the one who shoved Giannis with, what, eight seconds to go in the game? It was Brook Lopez who was coming to his teammate's defense. Now, to be fair, I don't think Trey Lyles can do a whole lot to Giannis Antetokounmpo.
He might be giving up a foot, maybe 50 pounds. But Brook Lopez decided, similar to an O-lineman defending his quarterback, just a very large, very bulky O-lineman, that you can't get away with pushing Giannis. Lyles may be frustrated because they had given up a double-figure lead in the second half. They were going to lose this game when they had a huge opportunity to beat the best team in the NBA. And instead, they coughed it up.
It was a 37-25 third quarter. Milwaukee gets the best of them. And as time is running out, Trey Lyles decides he's going to get the most of his whistle, shoves Giannis after there's some contact. And that's when Brook Lopez comes rumbling in. Nothing from Lopez.
If you've seen Marco Bulette, he's here in studio. Nothing from Lopez. I'm thinking that both Trey Lyles and Lopez are probably going to end up with some type of, maybe not a suspend... Well, Lyles is going to get suspended. I'm not sure about Lopez. But yeah, when Mike Brown says, we're not going to start anything, but we're going to finish it, he either didn't see the video or is just hoping the NBA will take his word for it. It's after hours... We ain't taking no s*** from nobody. Yeah, that part's okay, but you know what, neither is Brook Lopez. And he goes on to say, we're not going to start anything.
But that's exactly what his guy did. It's after hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. Yes, Giannis is back and it was a big deal. He had a great bounce tonight.
Was aggressive, attacked. I think we've got to continue to work on our space and give him great lanes and driving opportunities. But when he has a few days off and he's able to take care of his body, get his lifts in, do all that stuff, we reap the benefits of that tonight.
That is faux show. And so the Milwaukee Bucks, who lose to the Warriors on, I think it was Saturday night, yeah it was Saturday night, they rebound with a victory against Sacramento, one of the top teams in the Western Conference. Meanwhile, they're putting more distance between themselves and the Boston Celtics who actually lose in Houston tonight. The Celtics have dropped four of their last six. And this time it's to a Rockets team that earns just its 16th win. So the Rockets get 22 points off turnovers. Boston gets out rebounded. Now Robert Williams has been out of the lineup. But Jalen Green scores a season high, it might have been a season high, but he scores 28. And they waste a season high 43 from Jalen Brown.
Jason Tatum, he's the leader, once again taking responsibility. You guys watched it, it wasn't great. We picked it up kind of too late. And I take the blame for that. I didn't necessarily start the best. And I feel like that kind of spread throughout the team. So I have to be better starting the game just from an energy level, being active out there. Because towards the end of the game, when we were trying to come back and damn, they're trying to be perfect. And a couple of turnovers or they were hitting shots, they were already in a rhythm. That starts from the beginning.
So I got to be better. And we got to be better to start. Most of the hustle stats in favor of the Houston Rockets who, to be fair, have almost nothing to play for right now. But inside their arena, the fans celebrating like they just won the NBA championship, the NBA finals. So the Celtics, while they're not in a position where you need to worry about them, they better kick it into high gear if they want any hopes at grabbing that number one seed in the East come postseason time. Yeah, we're inside of, oh gosh, we're talking 68 games that have been played.
So inside of 15 games to go for most NBA teams. All right, coming up, very entertaining conversation with a character, a personality, Miami Hurricanes men's basketball coach, Jim Laronega. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence.
You are listening to the After Hours podcast. These teams that have earned the right to play in the best national tournament in the country. Number one seed in the Midwest. We're very, very excited to have won the ACC regular season title and now be moving on as the fifth seed. We're going to prepare ourselves to be excellent on Friday. This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. The first game for the Miami Hurricanes as the five seed in the Midwest will come against the Drake Bulldogs.
Each of these teams, 25 plus wins, only seven losses and they will tip off in Albany on what is Friday, St. Patrick's Day. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. From the Miami Hurricanes' Twitter, their basketball Twitter, you hear their excitement at the selection show and their party, plus the voice of Jim Laronega, longtime head coach in the background. I had a chance to catch up with him earlier this evening.
It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence, CBS Sports Radio. He is a character. He's a great personality. He is bold in his opinions and also his passion for college basketball and for the Canes.
Great to talk to Jim. I started out by asking him, Coach, why is it special every time it happens? Because you've been around college basketball for a long time. You've been with multiple programs and yet there's still such joy, such passion as you watch your students experience the selection show and ultimately the tournament. You know, I coached at the mid-major level for 25 years and it was very, very hard to make the NCAA tournament as a mid-major coach.
And I learned every time we got there to really enjoy that experience, never take it for granted. When I moved to the ACC at Miami, we've gotten there pretty regularly, but still it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience for this team. We have some guys back from last year.
It's an entirely different season. We've won the regular season championship and now we're extremely excited to be a five seed playing Drake on Friday night. So the Canes are a five seed coming out of the ACC and there was talk that the conference is not as good this year, though some really strong schools at the top. Once again, what is special about ACC basketball coach? I grew up an ACC fan. You know, I followed North Carolina and Duke as a teenager. And when I got to be an assistant coach in the ACC at the University of Virginia, I absolutely loved it.
I thought I died and went to heaven. Every game was against NBA players. These guys, Michael Jordan, James Worthy, Lenny Bias, we had so many great players in the league. At Virginia we had Ralph Sampson, Jeff Lamp, Olden Polanese, all first round draft picks.
Ralph was the first player chosen. So my feeling is the ACC is the best basketball conference in America and to see us only get five teams in, to see a team like Clemson that went 14 and 6 left out, I was telling my coaches today that when I was at Virginia, we went 6 and 8, got invited and went to the Final Four in 1984. For a team to go 14 and 6 and not be invited, boy have times changed. How does playing an ACC schedule, regardless of records or teams in the tournament, prepare you for what's to come on the next stage? Now the one thing that I think is very, very different than some of the other leagues, every coach in our league almost has a different style and you've got to prepare for that next team one game at a time. You might be playing Jim Boeheim, Syracuse' team that's playing the 2-3 zone and then next night be playing against Tony Bennett's pack line defense or that next weekend play Kevin Keats' pressure man-to-man. So every game preparation is different and your players have to adjust to that. The league now has 20 games, 10 at home, 10 on the road. It's a grind. It's a marathon. And I'm so proud of our guys for winning with Coach Champs with Virginia for the regular season title.
Our guys did a great job. Okay, you're going to laugh at me at this next question and then we'll get back to the ACC. I have heard your last name pronounced multiple ways. Coach, how do you pronounce your last name? Okay, so the correct pronunciation because the N in my last name has an enye, a tilde. It's an accent mark and the correct pronunciation is La-da-nya-ga.
It's Cuban. But when I was in kindergarten, I went to a Catholic school and the nun couldn't pronounce it correctly. When I tried to correct her, which you don't do in Catholic schools, she said to me, no, I think it's La-ra-na-ga. From then on, all my friends call me La-ra-na-ga, my coaches call me La-ra-na-ga, all my teachers call me La-ra-na-ga. So I just, I gave in and just said, okay, I'm Jim La-ra-na-ga. Would you like me to use La-ra-nya-ga?
Well, no, I think whatever you use is comfortable because in my family, there are six children and not one of us pronounce our last name the same. I'm so glad I asked. I thought you were going to think less of me, but I'm so glad I got that story. All right, we're going to go with what everyone else calls you right now. Coach La-ra-na-ga is with us here from Miami. Men's basketball getting set for the tournament of five seed against the Drake Bulldogs.
It's after hours here on CBS Sports Radio. Just quickly before we move on, you mentioned Jim Boeheim. There have been a couple of very high-profile exits of Hall of Fame coaches from your conference in the last couple years.
Why do you continue to do it? Well, first of all, those guys are legendary. They're Hall of Famers like Mike Krzyzewski, Roy Williams, and Jim Boeheim. But for me, there's been so many changes in college basketball with the transfer portal, with NIL, with teams and programs jumping leagues. But I've said this all along.
Just tell me what the rules are. I'm just going to follow them. And we'll do the best we can, because I love coaching. I love being with my players. I love practice. I love hanging out with the guys. Today we finished practice, and half the guys just stayed and were shooting and having fun. And I just stayed to watch them enjoy themselves. So I enjoy my job. I like the day-to-day activity.
And I don't have a lot of other hobbies, so I'm not planning to retire anytime soon. There you go. How is Norchat O'Mear's ankle? That's the question people keep asking you, coach.
Yeah, I keep asking our trainer, and he keeps telling me to say, Well, we're treating it. We'll see. He's getting better. Good. You know, we won't know for several days.
I said this. Derek Lively should have been MVP of the ACC tournament, because Norchat O'Mear came down with a missed free-throw rebound and landed on his foot. I don't know what would have happened if Norchat had stayed healthy.
That could have been us moving on instead of Duke, because Norchat is such a big factor. He's such a worry. He's such a great kid.
So sad for him not to have been able to play in that semifinal. Incredible leaping ability, too, so I hope that he's able to get out there and play with that explosiveness. What is your favorite thing about Isaiah Wong's game?
Isaiah Wong is the ACC Player of the Year for good reason. He is so good at so many different things. He scores the ball, driving it to the basket, getting fouled, making free throws, shooting threes. He's a great kid to be around. He works really hard at the defensive end of the floor, and he's someone that's cool, calm, and collected. He practices and plays the same way every single day.
You never have to push him or encourage him or inspire him, because he's just so highly motivated. He loves basketball, he loves competing, and he is one great competitor. How much does experience matter when you get to the tournament? I'd like to say it requires a lot, and it's really valuable, except the team we're playing has so much of it.
Their point guard is like 25 years old. We know from our past experiences that having older guys, veteran guys who have played in the NCAA tournament before, can be very beneficial. But really, what I tell my team, it doesn't matter who we play or where we play. What does matter is how we play.
Do we execute our game plan better than our opponent executes its game plan? And when you're in the NCAA tournament, everybody is really good. Drake has a great team, we've got a great team. It'll be a great matchup come Friday night.
Yeah, looking forward to it. Coach Jim Laronega of Miami with us here after hours, CBS Sports Radio. Tucker DeVries could have played a lot of different places, wants to play with his dad, which is such a cool story. So the Bulldogs obviously have an incredible talent themselves.
What have you seen with Tucker so far? Well, I coach both my sons. You might think, oh, that's great, that's easy, the family stays together.
But I guarantee you that what Dick Bennett told me many years ago is very true. The greatest feeling is your son plays well and you win. If you lose, but your son still plays great, OK, you can hang your hand on that. If your son has an off day but you win, OK, that's still pretty good. We want the worst night or if your son plays bad and you lose, then everybody's crying.
It's miserable. But I think Tucker Tucker DeVries is an outstanding player at both ends of the court. He's got outstanding skills, shooting the three, handling the ball, driving to the basket, posting up.
He's got all the skills and that's why he was the Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year. These three weeks where, as a nation, a lot of fans live, sleep, eat, breathe basketball, of course the schools do as well. I don't know, coach, there's always talk about expanding it, changing the tournament. To me, it feels like the perfect three weeks in sports. Well, I think we can keep it the same three weeks in sports, but we should really expand to 96 teams. It doesn't make any sense to me that so many of these good teams, teams with very good records in the league, like a Clemson, like a Wake Forest, are left out of the dance.
Because once you get in there, depending on your matchup, you can go on a roll. And I always thought the NCAA was about giving student athletes a great life experience. And so few of the 363 Division I teams make it. There's only 68 out of 363, that's only 18%. If you look at football going to bowl games, half of the football programs go to a bowl. We don't even come close to half. We've got 18% going, I think we should expand to 96, and I don't think you even have to add a day. You just do what we've been doing, instead of the first four, you have a whole other round.
I've suggested already, that first round should be the 64 at-large teams match up and play each other, and then the 32 teams that survive play against the 32 champions and then move on. Well, thank you for sharing that with us. You make a great point about so many other schools that are left out.
So I'll end with this then, Coach. What is special about this experience? Why is it so important for students to go through this and experience this? Well, I've said the NCAA Basketball Tournament is the greatest sporting event in the world, because it does last three weeks, and it's so unpredictable. It's like a reality show. You don't know what's going to happen, and the unexpected happens all the time. You have low seeds beating high seeds every year. You have a Cinderella story almost every season. I experienced that at George Mason in 2006, when a lot of experts said we didn't belong, and we went all the way to Indianapolis to the Final Four.
I remember, I remember. You know, if they didn't give us that opportunity, that experience never would have happened. I just think there's so many good teams, and there's so many good players, and now with the transfer portal, there's a lot of teams. You don't even know how good they are until, like, February, because there's so many new players. My roster, I have seven veterans and six newcomers. There are teams in our league in the ACC with nine new players, so getting off to a great start is not that easy. And yet your body of work is what everybody talks about.
Your games in November count as much as your games in February. It's such a great honor to have you on the show again, Coach Jim Laronega of Miami, getting set to take on the Drake Bulldogs in Albany on Friday, hoping for good health for you, but also thank you for sharing your joy and your passion for the sport with us, Coach. Thanks, Amy, for including me in your show. So much personality there, so much character, and he caught me off guard with his proposal for 96 teams. There had been one in the past.
He ultimately decided against it, and there have been various other proposals about how to expand the NCAA tournament. I'd never heard anyone put it quite like Coach, so good to hear from him. And how about the lesson on how to pronounce his name, and yet he doesn't care. He's given up on it. Going back to Catholic grade school, it was supposed to be Laronega, and instead it's Laronega.
No idea about the Cuban roots. That's pretty cool. He's fun. First time I've had him on the show here. Thanks for hanging out with us after hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. We'll see you next time.
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