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Arash Markazi | The Sporting Tribune

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The Truth Network Radio
March 24, 2023 5:48 am

Arash Markazi | The Sporting Tribune

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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March 24, 2023 5:48 am

Arash Markazi of the Sporting Tribune joins the show from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to talk a WILD finish between Gonzaga & UCLA, as well as a dominate performance by UConn.

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Man, those are phenomenal. So what was your perspective? Take us through those final few moments as this game between UCLA and Gonzaga is hanging in the balance. I mean you touched on it Amy. I mean it was an incredible like wave of emotions where UCLA takes this big you know 13-point lead at the half. Gonzaga's up you know what 10, 2.5 to go.

UCLA comes back and then when UCLA comes back you're thinking that's it. The amazing thing is Julian Strother was really the local story. I mean this was the you know prodigal son returning home and so I mean he did so many you know group interviews during practice on Wednesday and you could kind of feel that he was perhaps tight tonight just really not performing well. So when he shot that shot I think everyone on press row is thinking like I know you're struggling son but what are you doing? And then he hits it and it was the most incredible thing. It was straight out of a movie and then gets the seal gets fouled and immediately after that goes up to his father hugs his father and says this is my city.

This is my city. I mean this was a young man who lost his mom at the age of nine but was really one of the high school heroes here. So everyone in Las Vegas knew about him. Again you know didn't play well for the majority of the game but then man did he come on strong late. Final seven seconds he has the three-pointer to put Gonzaga ahead but then also has a steal and a free throw just to be sure. So Arash when I was watching your videos I love the roar because you're on the court or right off the corner of the court and so you're at court level. The fans are up and above you. I couldn't tell if it was a pro UCLA or a pro Gonzaga crowd.

What did it sound like to you? So I mean pro UCLA but only because of the connection with Los Angeles and Vegas. Again it's you know it's a half hour flight. It's a three-hour drive and so there was a lot of UCLA fans. That being said I mean this has become Gonzaga's home away from home come conference tournament time and again this is this was a very significant night in Las Vegas by the way. The first time that they had hosted an Elite 8 2016 NCAA tournament. So you know generally speaking if you're a Gonzaga fan you know you're saving up for the conference tournament. They run that conference tournament in Vegas. I really get a sense that you're going to see a lot more Gonzaga fans.

Again if you didn't see them tonight on Thursday night they're going to pack that place. I mean this has really become their home away from home. What changed for Gonzaga and UCLA in the second half?

It's a great question and I mean there was so many like ebbs and flows in this game. The interesting thing was that what Mark View said was this was the temple that they wanted. This was the temple that they were comfortable with and they felt that listen UCLA I mean it's been well documented you know not at full strength.

They really felt that at some point in time them going six deep they're gonna tire out. But you know to be honest like even as I'm saying that I'm like this was just a classic game. So it really came down to the last shot and so maybe if there was a few more seconds on the clock UCLA would have found a way to win. But again you know 17 years to the day Amy from that like Adam Morrison shot and by the way he's now doing color commentary so he was courtside. Just these two schools have played some classic NCAA tournament games. Arash Markazi of the Sporting Tribute is with us from Las Vegas following these two games that couldn't have been more different and yet were very entertaining.

It's after hours with Amy Lawrence CBS Sports Radio. The I would say the saltiness maybe a little spiciness from Mick Cronin after the game was well documented. What happened because he seemed to indicate and I saw it on your Twitter as well that that the postgame press conferences weren't in the order that he was used to or would have expected.

And so I got corrected but here's what generally happens and I mean I've covered a lot of these events over the years. You know you know the team that loses they just want to go home. They want to like either go back home that they want to go back to the hotel. The Gonzaga press conference I felt went a little bit longer than it should have.

We're post-Covid. I mean they took about six questions like on Zoom so the people in the room asked all their questions. They took a bunch of questions over Zoom. Listen I know Mick Cronin is frustrated but I could understand you know if you have to wait like a half hour I totally get his frustration there. But yeah this was that was a very short press conference. The players didn't really talk a whole lot. Mick didn't really want to expand on what had happened. You know listen quite frankly he was upset with the officiating. I did not see anything wrong with the officiating tonight. He was upset that they weren't at full strength.

Can't do anything about that. So yeah it was unfortunate because listen they've had such a great season and it really came down to one miraculous shot. Who was the biggest star and I don't mean basketball or sports. I mean who was the biggest celebrity that you saw there in Vegas for these games today? Well it was Bill Murray Amy. I'm very excited. I'm a big Bill Murray fan and what I love about him is just the absolute pride and joy that he has in his son Luke is an assistant coach at UConn.

You know because he could just be that the dad who's you know quiet or maybe he's sitting in a suite. I mean he's there row one behind the bench losing his mind and then the funny thing was during the UCLA Gonzaga game they invited him to sit with the coaches and scout the game and the funny thing was like Luke was talking to his dad about you know pointing out what Gonzaga is doing and so just from a father-son perspective yes Bill Murray's a comedic genius. Yeah I'm a huge fan but just the absolute pride that he took in his son's success was so cool to see.

That's awesome. All right let's talk about the UConn win. They make quick work of Arkansas and what I thought was really impressive was how the Huskies and their aggressive mentality kind of kept the Arkansas defense chasing because that's what they want to do. They want the game to be ugly and yet that's the opposite of what happened. The Huskies played some really pretty basketball.

When did this start to get out of hand? It was so early and you're thinking that like Arkansas is going to find a way to come back but really like Amy it went from you know 10 to 12 to 20 to 25 almost 30. By the way give UConn a ton of credit. I mean they've really done this throughout the tournament. They have not played a close game. I'm hopeful and I fully expect a close game on Saturday against Gonzaga but UConn's really gone from being like a very good team obviously but to a team that I mean there's no team I don't think in the country that's playing as well as they are because it's really a testament to them come tournament time.

As we saw in the UCLA-Gonzaga game you can lose or you can gain and lose a 12-13 point lead quickly. What UConn has found a way to do during this tournament they go up by 12 they'll find a way to go up by 20-25 and so again unfortunately for Arkansas great fan base you know but they never had a moment to enjoy their trip to the Sweet 16. You mentioned Vegas and we know there's a bunch of events that are cycling through Vegas now that it's got T-Mobile Arena and obviously Allegiant Stadium so the Pro Bowl was there, the draft is headed there, we've got NCAA tournament basketball, there's always been golf, there's NASCAR.

I mean it's a full-fledged pro sports and college sports mecca now. Not only that Amy by the way the NCAA tournament's not the biggest event in town this weekend. Taylor Swift back-to-back concert at Allegiant Stadium.

Oh my gosh. Both of them are sold out. Both of them going for upwards of $700 a ticket so yes while me as a sports fan now I'm very happy about the tournament being here, the Swifties they have taken over Las Vegas. So I can imagine it's some kind of buzz there this weekend with the mix. Although Vegas is used to that it's not like Vegas is a stranger to that type of an atmosphere but yeah I mean even the Super Bowl is headed there so right now it's a major sports destination.

100% so there's two big events here happening Amy. The Formula One Grand Prix that is the biggest event when I tell you the prices for some of these tickets I've never seen multi-million dollar packages and some of these packages are you'll have a private chef, you'll have a private car, this that and the other. That takes place in November.

Then in February I can't even imagine this and the locals here still it's like they don't know what to think. The Super Bowl is coming to Vegas. Generally speaking if you can't be at the Super Bowl the next best place to be is in Vegas. You go to a sports budget it's a great time. The actual Super Bowl will be on the Las Vegas trip.

It's crazy. I believe it or not and I admit this sometimes people think I'm not so I've never been to Vegas and so. Oh Amy you gotta come. I know so when we're out there because after hours we'll be there for the Super Bowl come next February. When we're out there it will be my first time ever and I know I'll be overwhelmed.

I won't be able to see and visit and take it all in everything but I can't wait. It feels like that's the right time to go ahead and see everything Vegas has to offer as much as they can cram into Super Bowl week. Well the beautiful thing about being in Vegas for your show 12 midnight is a perfectly totally normal time. Everyone's happening. When I was talking to your producer normally 12 midnight you know pacific time I'm usually in bed. Listen I'm in Vegas now.

The night has just begun. There you go. Well we're so excited to steal a few minutes with you Arash. You can find him on twitter at Arash Markazi.

M-A-R-K-A-Z-I. He's the Sporting Tribune. In fact he is the Sporting Tribune. The founder and the CEO and he's a Vegas regular. He's got some really incredible videos from the corner of the court.

UCLA Gonzaga going down to the wire. Thank you for a few minutes. It's always good to talk to you my friend. Amy you're the best. We'll talk to you soon. Bye.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-24 06:38:53 / 2023-03-24 06:44:10 / 5

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