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That's betterhelp.com positive. Two years ago, it was Baylor beating Gonzaga. Last year it was Kansas.
This year, it could end up being a first-time champion, but this is for sure. There are three Cinderella's. Cinderella's of different degrees, Cinderella's of different shapes and sizes, but three Cinderella's who have danced their way into the final four with one blue blood. And here's what cracks me up. And there's a bunch of history. We'll get into some of the history.
I mean, I'll be fair. I would rather listen to Mike Tomlin, but there's only so much of Mike Tomlin until later this week. Apparently he talked about Kenny Pickett.
We just haven't been able to find the audio. We will just give it some time because we love us some Mike T. But when it comes to college basketball, this cracks me up. We have three underdogs and then some actual dogs. We've got three underdogs in Miami, San Diego State and Florida Atlantic, and then Yukon, the Huskies, the actual dogs. So take your pick.
All kinds of dogs to choose from. The final four includes three first-timers. Miami was closed last year. So you wouldn't technically think of Miami as a Cinderella.
That may be too strong. Not only are they from a power five conference, it's not like they're the first from their conference ever to make dah, dah, dah, dah. And they were in the elite eight a year ago. And so their road features some major redemption. They lost in the elite eight. They came so close to the final four last year, only to be denied. So here they are a year later and they make the most of this opportunity. They've got veterans and I feel as though if you really watch them play the last couple games, actually through the entire tournament, you can tell they are leaving nothing to chance. They are essentially in this equation, taking the Longhorns by the horns.
That sounds awkward. It doesn't sound as good as taking the bull by the horns. They're aggressive. They're attacking. They're forcing the issue.
This is who they've been in rallying multiple times from double digit deficits in this tournament to survive. And every time what you hear is they attack, they're aggressive. They force the issue. They get into the paint. They get free throws if they don't get quality shots. This is a veteran group who knows how to take the game and put it into a mode, a form, a space where they can control it, where they're comfortable.
I'm not saying it's easy, just saying they put their own stamp on a game with the way they're doing it. They're not going to win a game with the way that they attack and the way that they're aggressive. And they're not daunted by being 10 plus points behind. Very impressive to see what Jim Lauren Yaga has done with this Miami team. Again, coming so close a year ago, finding redemption in Miami's first ever Final Four in men's college basketball. San Diego State, first team from the Mountain West ever to make the Final Four. You want a Cinderella?
You got one. But how about Florida Atlantic? The Owls have never been to the Final Four. So those three teams, those three schools, those three fan bases are tasting this Final Four, this attention, this excitement, this buzz, this I'm going to get nothing done this week because all I care about is basketball.
And really it's been that way for a few weeks now. And then you've got UConn. But this is not the same UConn that won in 2014. No, since then the Huskies have been through quite a transformation of their own. Multiple coaches. So Jim Calhoun's retirement forced UConn to change a lot. But the first couple of attempts didn't work.
They didn't stick. So here's Dan Hurley, who comes from a blue blood family in New Jersey. The Hurley family, they've got a basketball legacy that goes way back.
It's generations old. Here's Dan Hurley, who takes over and not only is able to capitalize on talent, but brings a toughness and a grittiness and a reputation. Plus it's UConn. As much as they love their football there, it's a basketball school for both men's and women's. So you've got UConn seeking its sixth national title.
Six? That's just men's basketball, not women's. Six national titles if they can survive in Houston. However, they're going to have some game competition.
And now this is the interesting thing. The pressure is the same on all of these teams. There isn't one team that's a big bad, that's expected to be here, or that is carrying the weight of lofty expectations. UConn started out like a house on fire. You may remember, I think they won their first 13 games and then kind of ran into what you typically run into in conference play is teams that know you well and are intimidated by it. So they went through their own adversity, but they've been a really good team all year. They've been a really good team all year. I don't think it's a huge surprise that they make the final four, but it's been a while since we've seen the Huskies and they're not a top seed, right?
So this is where some of the history comes in. They started seeding the tournaments in 1979. It's the first time since they started seeding that no team higher than a four is still standing at this juncture. All right, so going back to 79, at every point along the way, there's been at least one team that's been higher than a four.
This time, no. UConn is your highest seed, I guess technically. San Diego State's a five seed. Miami's a five seed. Florida Atlantic is a nine seed. So that's what we're left with, a four, two fives, and a nine.
I think it's fascinating. And going back just to Friday, because it's worth noting, it's the first time that no top seeds even reached the Elite Eight. That has never happened before. Alabama and Houston were both out Friday in the Sweet 16. And so maybe your bracket, maybe it's with friends or you're on one of the various online brackets, maybe it's like our family bracket.
And this is a smaller sample size, but I think the results can be extrapolated to most of the nation. We're done earning points. None of us in our family bracket had any one of these final four teams. Not one of us had even took a flyer on UConn. I don't know how it is in our bracket. In the after hours bracket challenge, we'll have to go back and check. We just didn't have a chance last night.
But it is, I mean, it's crazy that a lot of people are done earning points. So you it doesn't really matter what happens in the final four. You're not going to capitalize on it unless you had one of these teams there. Bravo.
Incredible stories, incredible journeys, all of them. Coaches that have been around forever, in some cases. But in other cases, you've got players who've transferred in. And this is what college sports has become. Since we're talking about basketball, we'll focus on basketball here. But we're talking about basketball, we'll focus on basketball here. You might as well get used to this.
This is the landscape in college basketball. Because of the transfer portal, which does not force athletes to sit out anymore. And I always thought that rule was ridiculous anyway. I mean, they were trying to limit transfers.
But these are young people who should be in control of their own path. I wouldn't want someone to tell me, if you choose to change schools or change directions, change paths, you lose a year of eligibility. To me, it's always felt like a ridiculous rule anyway.
Why? What's the point of that? If the coach in your new school or at your new school is ready to integrate you right away, why should the NCAA have any issue with it? And then people always point to the fact that coaches were allowed to change with no repercussion. So why can't athletes? I just, it felt like a bloated organization, which is what the NCAA has been for a long time, trying to control individual decisions. People transfer for different reasons. It's not always athletic reasons. And I get it, they were, I get some of it maybe, trying to prevent teams from loading up and teams from maybe cheating, luring players with nefarious tactics.
But that's all out the window anyway now with the NIL guidelines. This is the landscape in college hoops. It's going to be this way more and more. Remember the phrase that we used during COVID? It used to drive me insane. Because before 2020, the percentage of Americans that knew what flatten the curve meant was teeny tiny. And then it became a phrase that people used like, we're all missed together. Like it was just one of those phrases that like everybody used, even though most of the people using it, I had no idea what they were talking about, a graph, right? I had no idea that that's what they were talking about. I know because my mom's a math teacher, but so many people used it.
So I'm going to use it here. College basketball is flattening the curve and it's going to be this way. It's going to be this way unless they walk back these recent changes.
So you might as well get used to it. Three first timers, three underdogs, and some actual dogs. No top seeds past the Elite Eight.
Nothing higher than a four. This is 2023 in college hoops. It's after hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. We definitely did have some endings that raised eyebrows to be sure. So let's go back to the game.
We'll kind of work our way backwards. So we'll start with the latest game, which was Sunday afternoon. So they didn't do Sunday night.
It was Sunday afternoon. It's Miami, it's Texas, and Texas builds a 13-point lead in the second half. Bishop in the right block. Back out it goes to Hunter.
Three on the right wing. Short rebound O'Mear. Long pass ahead.
Pack cherry picking on the other end. Layup good. Two-point game. 72-70.
We've got 6-06 to Houston. Long with 13 to shoot sibling on the left side. O'Mear sets the screen. Long bump. Lobbing underneath for O'Mear to the rim. Lays it up. Good and a foul. We're tied.
It's 72. Norchad O'Mear feathers it in for the tie and a chance for the lead at the line. Long a little crossover. Dribbles into the paint. Forces up the shot. It drops. The wooden award finalist showing why he's on the list, tying the game at 75.
A couple of things that work here. Isaiah Wong of Miami, who is the ACC Player of the Year. 12 of his 14 points coming in the second half. And when I tell you, if you didn't see the game, when I tell you that the Hurricanes, they found another gear and essentially pedaled to the metal.
Now they weren't out of control, but they were forcing the issue. They were going right at Texas. Miami scored 51 points in the second half. That is dazzling for college basketball. I mean, I know NBA teams score that in a quarter these days, but Texas actually does play defense. Just backpedaling, fouling. Miami did such a good job of taking the lead, being aggressive, attacking, and getting Texas out of its comfort zone. Getting Texas out of its, out of its defense in which they could keep them, keep the canes in front of them. So they get to the point at which they're tied at 79. And this is one of those moments that people will be talking about on Monday. From the back iron O'Mear trying for the rebound and a foul is called. It's going the other way.
If it's on O'Mear, which it is, it's his fifth. He has fouled out with one minute to go. The officials now are huddling.
Let's see here. Are they going to change this? There's a huddle though. It's going the other way, but I don't know if it's on O'Mear. Looks like he signaled Cunningham's number. And now Rodney Terry is upset. I believe he is signaling for Cunningham who undercut O'Mear going for the rebound and free throws for O'Mear.
So he's not out of the game. It's Cunningham's foul. I could not disagree with this call anymore. I mean, Brock Cunningham is blocking out well before O'Mear had left his feet.
And then he jumps. Brock Cunningham's just blocking out. That is, there have been some questionable calls here today, but I'm not sure any bigger or any worse than what we just saw right there. O'Mear at the line.
Free throw is good. 80-79. Miami by one. What a call. That's Kevin Coogler and Robbie Hummel on the Westwood One NCAA radio network. Now I just want to clarify.
You know me. This is not why the Longhorns lost. They coughed up a 13 point lead, but this was definitely a moment that stands out as they're tied at 79 instead of O'Mear fouling out. He's the one who gets to the free throw line when his defender is assessed the call.
And I agree with Hummel. I thought this was the wrong call. I'm a believer in boxing out. It's an art form. Rebounding doesn't get done until you box out or it shouldn't be done until you box out.
And I thought it was a textbook box out by Cunningham. He gets big. He gets low. He uses his solid base. He's not clutching.
He's not grabbing. He's got O'Mear sealed behind him. It was actually boxing out.
It's a lost art. O'Mear jumps over his back and initially gets called for the foul until they reverse it and say that Cunningham undercut him. But O'Mear is the one that left his feet. I mean, to me it's almost like those officials forgot what boxing out is about.
It was textbook. And O'Mear definitely leapt over the top of him and crawled up his back. So I disagree with that call. However, Texas had already coughed up its lead. And if you give up 51 points in a half, I'm not sure you have a leg to stand on. So O'Mear and others, they make their free throws.
They use that kind of in the end there. A perfect performance from Jordan Miller. Seven of seven from the field. 13 of 13 from the free throw line. I mean, this was Miami all hands on deck because they did not want a repeat of what happened last year. What I'm most proud of is the will and the togetherness of this team. I don't think we've been down that much at a halftime in a very long time. I told the guys at halftime, hey, this is very much like the Kansas game.
We're behind. They came out and took control of the game and that's what we need to do. And even though it took us a little longer to do it, if you watch the last 10 minutes of the game, our defense, our rebounding, our scoring is just at such a high level. Miami really started trying to get downhill. They just started kind of putting their heads down, going one-on-one a little bit, trying to spread us out and really, really did a good job of getting into the paint and getting to the foul line. I mean, they shot 28 free throws, you know, we had to give them 32 foul shots.
So they did a good job of really, you know, attacking the paint. That's Rodney Terry on top of what we hear from Jim Larriñaga. That's what he said. That's how he pronounced it.
Well, he said that's properly how you pronounce it, even though people don't really do it anymore. So congratulations to Miami and this is kind of cool too. He's been to the Final Four in the past.
Sunday, 17 years ago to the day that 11-seeded George Mason reached the Final Four and at that time was a true Cinderella. He's going to be a sentimental favorite because he's been around a long time, a long time, and he's a great coach. We're so glad we had him on the Monday after the selection show. It was a real treat to be able to talk to him specifically. If you missed that conversation, it's on our podcast page.
It's on our Odyssey podcast page. You'd have to scroll down a little bit, but yeah, he's tremendous. I was thrilled.
I remember after I spoke to him, I texted Jay, wait to hear this conversation. So Miami gets in with a moment there that's a bit of an eyebrow razor. It definitely was a turning point, but it wasn't why they won.
Creighton, San Diego State, same thing. But I would also just reiterate, if you're Creighton who can't hit the broadside of a barn in the second half, I don't know that you need to be complaining about one call. Just, you had so many opportunities. The Blue Jays had so many opportunities, but the way this game ended was so strange. I'm not sure I've ever seen a game end like that. It was very anticlimactic.
So we'll get to that next. The San Diego State survives the Blue Jays of Creighton. It's not what anyone expected. I would, I dare say there are, I don't know if this is true, but I would bet most of what I'm worth, which isn't a lot, that nobody had this final four.
And all the millions of brackets out there, nobody had this final four. It's unlikely, it's improbable. Now here's what I'm asking. Is it enticing?
Will it draw you in? You've got one blue blood, that's it. Because sometimes the narrative goes, if it's not the national powers, the traditional powers, I'm just going to name a few. Don't get mad if I don't mention yours. Kansas, who's the defending champion. Duke, North Carolina. If it's not UCLA, Arizona, they've not been there in a while, but you get my drift.
It's not a traditional final four with teams flexing their muscles. But we've got Owls, we've got Aztecs, we've got Dawgs, and they're technically called Huskies, but the Yukon Dawgs fits. And we've got Hurricanes. Nobody invites the Hurricane to the party. Actually, Hurricane's a drink, isn't it? Oh, you know what?
When I was in New Orleans, this was years ago, I went and had a Hurricane. That's the favorite. Yeah, that's the classic drink at Pat O'Brien. Shoot, what's the name of the place?
Oh my gosh, it's going to drive me crazy. Pat O'Brien's, Pat Murphy's pet something in the French Quarter. Okay, I'm going to look it up. I've never been there actually. Yeah, it was fun. I actually was really proud of myself that, let's say Hurricanes. I'm right down New Orleans. Yes, Pat O'Brien's. I was right. There you go.
Woo, I feel better now. Yeah, you have to have a Hurricane at Pat O'Brien's. Anyway, so those kind of Hurricanes, not the other kind of Hurricanes, the Hurricane storms.
So I guess for that kind of Hurricanes. Anyway, it's unique. It's eclectic.
It's an interesting mix. This is college basketball now. We can't reverse this. No turning back the clock. This is what it is. You might as well get used to it.
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After Hours Podcast. Butler looking for somebody to get open. Butler, no timeouts left, gets it into a rope. Five seconds left. Trammell, three seconds left. Trammell, way away from the basket. Pulls up for the free throw line.
Shot is no good. Whistle blows though. There's a foul possibly. No time left on the clock. Lee Cassell blew the whistle and we may have free throws. Greg McDermott just reminded his team there are no timeouts left. Trammell's second shot for the lead and possibly a trip to Houston. Right-handed shot up and good. Nothing but net. 57-56 San Diego State.
This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. Creighton looked abysmal in the second half. Now San Diego State didn't look much better offensively.
This was a grind but Creighton had some major shooting woes in the second half and overall shot just two of 17 from beyond the arc. But there was a moment, once again, game tied at 56 in the late stages where you have a player driving to the hoop. So in this case it's Darion Trammell. He's a senior guard for San Diego State. He's driving to the hoop. The Creighton guard, Ryan Nembhard, doesn't hit his arm, doesn't impact his shooting motion, but, so he, I'm going to just kind of describe it so you can kind of get the angles if you didn't see it.
You hear the call there with Tom McCarthy on the Westwood One NCAA radio network. Trammell gets a step, gets by the defense of Nembhard. So Nembhard is a set, they're both facing the hoop, but Nembhard is off his right hip.
He's kind of right next to him but slightly behind him off his right hip. He takes his left hand and he grabs, it's like a weird angle, it's almost like a backhand, he takes his left hand and he grabs Trammell's waist and the foul is called. So the shot was already up, well the shot was up, it was on its way. Trammell was in the air but because of this arm on his side, his hand grabbing his waist, he doesn't come down in the same place. He loses his balance, a foul is called.
Now did it impact the shot? Most people, including Charles Barkley, a bunch of others, would tell you, no way, awful call. I don't think it was an awful call. There was definitely contact. By the letter of the law it's a foul.
Here's what I appreciated though from Jay Wright, who was part of the CBS slash TBS set. What he said is they let this stuff go all game long. It was a physical game, it was a gritty game, there was plenty of contact and I prefer it. Let them play, no blood, no foul is how I grew up on basketball.
I know that's a little traumatic now but I don't have any problem with physical contact. And they did let him play. In this game, without going back and looking, I think there were 17 total free throws. Between the two teams there's 17 free throws. In today's basketball, that's very few.
I mean my goodness, there are NBA players who shoot more than that by themselves in games routinely, James Harden. So it did that, that was the point that Jay Wright made. It felt ticky tacky because they had allowed so much contact to go on throughout the game. But at the same time, it's the final couple seconds and everybody's looking at that and everybody can see it. There was contact.
I'm watching it again right now. Trammell actually hit the deck because it was a push, because he grabbed his waist. He was trying to get momentum almost. He was like trying to get up with Trammell and block the shot. So in order to like, it was almost like he was pulling on a rung of a ladder. He grabs Trammell's waist, kind of gives himself leverage to get up and try to block the shot. And in doing so, he knocked Trammell over. Did it impact the shot?
I don't know. Would the shot have gone in? Maybe not. But there definitely was contact. You can't quibble with that.
You can say that it was ticky tack or that it didn't matter, but you can't quibble with the fact that there was contact. It's after hours with Amy Lawrence here on CBS Sports Radio. Here's the crazy thing. Trammell, the senior guard, misses the first, makes the second. So now they've got a full court inbound situation with 1.2 seconds to go. Shireman on the baseline to our right. He's a left-handed thrower. Sets up. Looking like a quarterback.
1.2 to play. Throws it up for grabs. Kaluma has it tipped out of bounds. No time left. San Diego State celebrating for a moment, but Lee Cassell says, hold on a second.
Hold on. We're going to look to see when the ball goes out of bounds if there's any time left. And who touched it last? And the celebration for San Diego State on the right side lets everybody know that they are not even going to continue this ball game. It is over. The San Diego State Aztecs for the first time in program history will head to the final four. They will take on FAU in Houston, and they let everybody know that defense does travel. A huge free throw from Darion Trammell in the waning seconds of this game has given San Diego State a one-point win 57-56, and they will go on to the final four, and their fans are celebrating.
Congratulations to the Aztecs. They survived. They survived what was a slugfest in this game.
Tom McCarthy again on the Westwood One NCAA radio network. Here's why possession didn't matter because by the time, and there were two people that touched the ball, two fingertips that looked simultaneous. I'm not sure if they would have done a jump ball if they determined that there was still time left on the clock because it was almost impossible to determine even with frame-by-frame technology. But because the ball went up in the air off their respective fingertips, by the time it landed out of bounds, 1.2 seconds had expired. But it was anti-climactic because it took forever. I think I walked Penny while they were still doing that. I mean I paused the tv because she wanted to go out and I couldn't wait and I was like well I'll let them make their decision then I'll come back.
But it felt like my walk with Penny was older before or was over before they figured out what they were doing there. So yeah they never did have to determine possession because they decided that the clock by the time it started and by the time the ball got out of bounds that 1.2 seconds would have expired. So Darion Trammell, interesting what he says about the foul call right. He doesn't sound like he's super convinced that it was a foul. I feel like I still had a good look.
The refs made their call but I mean they called it and I got an opportunity to knock down free throws to win the game for my team. It's a tough feeling. He worked so hard all year and it comes down to a plague that I don't know I think we could have done a little bit more to make it a game that didn't have to go down to that but it's a tough way to lose. So that's Ryan Nembhard who as you can imagine is crestfallen.
He's crushed. That's not why they lost and they wouldn't be there. Creighton wouldn't have still been standing if not for Nembhard but yeah definitely frustrating.
Greg McDermott, Brian Dutcher both two veteran coaches who have high praise for one another. You win with class and you lose with class and that's what we're going to do. We had opportunities. Defensively obviously we held them to 37 percent.
It's good enough. We just you know we had some decent looks at the basket the second half and we're unable to knock them down. All the credit goes to San Diego State and it's on us that we can't that we didn't quite get it done.
Not anyone else. Congratulations to coach McDermott and Creighton. They got a really good team and we were separated by one point tonight and if there was time on the clock who knows what could have happened but we're grateful to be advancing. It's always hard when you go against a friend because as much as I celebrate winning if you don't feel apathy for a friend you're not a true friend and so I'm grateful to win but I felt bad for Greg and his team because they're a final four team also but with a one and done situation the volatility of this tournament we were fortunate enough to go and I feel bad for a really good Creighton team. Mutual respect all around. Coach does understand how much it takes to get here.
It essentially takes all of you and it takes the ball bouncing your way and a couple of calls potentially that can change a moment in the late stages. So it was a completely different game than Texas Miami. There were times where I feel like Dr. James Naismith was potentially rolling over in his his basket his basketball grave. You guys remember the peach basket for the photos? I mean I wasn't around when he invented basketball but the peach basket that was what they started with. That would have been a pain in the butt right? You have to shoot it and then you have to go get it and then you have to shoot it then you have to go get it.
What a great invention just to cut a hole in the bottom of that. That might have been the better step forward for basketball. So yeah it was ugly offense but you know it's not ugly as winning. Congratulations to our three first timers and UConn. Let's see I guess we can give you a little bit of what happened on Saturday just because Florida Atlantic, the Owls. This is only their second NCAA tournament ever and now here they are into the final four. It's awesome. It's a march of firsts for them and Jerome Tang for Kansas State. I really admire him as well.
Marquis Snell hit another huge game. Madison Square Garden. So we'll do a little more basketball heading up to the top. You can find me on Twitter A Law Radio. Also on our Facebook page. Oh and before the end of the show wait until I tell you what I did on Saturday.
Before basketball of course. You are listening to the... Planning a wedding is intimidating but finding the perfect suit shouldn't be. Design your dream suit at Indochino.com and use code PODCAST for 10% off any purchase of $3.99 or more. That's I-N-D-O-C-H-I-N-O dot com code PODCAST.
After Hours Podcast. Well 45 to go. K-State up two with the ball. Here's Sills down the left of the lane against Lozano. Pitches it out to Noel. Noel takes the long three.
Good! Marquis Noel from 28 feet away. He has 21 points. K-State by five. Looking around.
Still looking. Finally finds Masoud who gives it back to Tomlin. Eight to shoot. Tomlin looking to take Golden off the dribble. Bulls down the lane.
Goes to the bucket. Lays it in and a foul. Beautiful maneuver by Tomlin and he'll have a chance for a three-point play. Pitches to the corner. Boyd for three. No good.
Offensive rebound though by Golden. Backs in. Knocks him in. Down to Slamford home.
Sills went flying. No call. Golden slams it. FAU lead 64-63.
This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. Gary Cohen doing a little double duty on the men's basketball tournament for the Westwood One NCAA radio network and Florida Atlantic Kansas State. This was a game that went down to the wire as well so it may not be the names that you're familiar with. It wasn't any top seeds but three of the four games to get to Houston were all really tight until the final seconds.
Now remember Marquis Noel for Kansas State he'd had the 19 assists in the game before that right when they eliminated Michigan State. That to me is still the game of the tournament. Phenomenal. Went into overtime.
It was amazing. In this game Marquis had 30 points, a dozen assists, five more steals and yet did not have the one shot that he desperately wanted in the final seconds. Goes Florida Atlantic foul. It's a great question because you have a great playmaker on the floor.
When you have a great playmaker like Marquis Noel you're probably better off fouled. You've also rebounded very well. Second one on the way.
Good! Three-point FAU lead. No timeouts for Kansas State.
6.9 to go. Inbounds to Noel. Across mid-court with five and he's not fouled.
They give it to Masoud. One second as ripped out by Davis. Time runs out. Florida Atlantic. Florida Atlantic. FAU. Fantastic!
Awesome! Unreal! Dusty May's Owls are going to the final four. Congratulations to the Owls and Dusty May. What a moment but it was stunning. It was it was very stark in those last few seconds because there was an opportunity for Kansas State to get a shot off and the ball was in Noel's hands and he gave it up. I was actually really surprised by that. Now the defense has a part of that.
Maybe you want to reset but he gave up the ball and then never got it back because it was stripped away. So an awesome defense by the Owls in the late stages with everything on the line. Nice! Just a plain old Owl. It's after hours with Amy Lawrence here on CBS Sports Radio. So Dusty May has been kind of one of those Cinderella coaches. He's made the rounds.
He's been here on CBS Sports Radio. It's been great to hear from him and great to learn more about the Owls as they make their first ever final four and this is actually the first time they've ever won tournament games right. So this year first tournament win, first time getting to Sweet 16, first Elite 8 and now obviously first time in the final four. In this era where everyone wants the whole pie these guys continued sharing the pie every single day and and this was the result. So couldn't be more proud of a group who did it really together every single day. Extremely rewarding to see a group give as much as these guys have all season shots, playing time, minutes, everything you can imagine.
100% effort every day in practice and then be rewarded because there's never a guarantee. It's pretty surreal. Just a lot of excitement.
Just happiness for the unit that we have that everyone gets to experience this together and also a little bit of just hunger to go finish it off. Brian Greenlee with 16 points on Saturday and this is I will say this they were resilient in this game because they had 22 turnovers. 22 turnovers and they were mounting early. So Kansas State was able to use that but not do enough with it. So not along with Marquise Noel not enough firepower for the Wildcats to be able to get by the Owls but yeah the Owls certainly whether it was nerves whether it was just the defense of K-State not taking great care of the basketball early on.
Jerome Tang though love him, love what we've seen of him with Kansas State as he took over this program. In the midst of probably one of the toughest things that you know experience with these guys if we can't be grateful in these times then all the love and joy that we talk about is is fraud and we're not frauds. I wouldn't trade these guys for 10 players 10 others or 20 others I wouldn't trade them with anything in the world and so so so very thankful for the the fun and the ride that we've had this year. As for Marquise Noel another incredible performance as I say 30 points a dozen assists five more steals. It ended short of the final four but people really got to know what he's about in his game. I'm very grateful man you know I had a tremendous year with my teammates and my coaching staff had a lot of fun just looking at looking back at how hard we worked to get to this point man I'm just thankful for the journey I'm thankful for my teammates and everybody behind the scenes I mean I wouldn't want it any other way. It's just so fun that we have three underdogs and then the dogs of UConn. It dawned on me halfway through the show and now I can't stop saying it.
We got dogs. Exactly it's after hours here on CBS Sports Radio Dan Hurley part of that iconic Hurley basketball family that comes from I think it's Jersey City in New Jersey and now he's got his own piece of the pie. Jordan Hawkins had 20 points at what turned into a blowout victory over Gonzaga. This was stunning. I mean stunning. They were up 23 points against the Zags in the second half.
It means everything. I'd like to thank Coach Hurley for giving me this opportunity and just being able to play in March Madness to lead eight games and it's something you dream of and my emotions just took all of me and I just had to flex UConn because UConn is back. I had to flex UConn because UConn is back.
I want to sneak in one from Mark Few because it's obviously disappointing. 29 consecutive NCAA tournaments, eight straight sweet 16s but they fail to get back to the final four and so he still will not have that coveted championship and yet afterwards all he could do was praise his Bulldogs. We've just had a tremendous run of great players like these guys. They're winners. We've had a great run of winners as I told them in there. Personally, I think this is 24 years of being a head coach. I've never had a team get this much better over the course of a year, take away this last two hours but prior to that from where we were in November to where we were two hours ago was just an incredible journey and a bunch of fun because they were coachable and willing to work and willing to do what we asked them. They deserve all the credit and all the other guys that played on those teams deserve all the credit. He has turned Gonzaga into a Blue Blood but still short of their goal and it's a little bit like Susan Lucci.
For those of you who know the All My Children reference with the Emmys, Susan Lucci always nominated, didn't win and for decades and decades. Someday they will. They're too good not to but I'm sure it's painful. I mean it was painful to watch them in the second half too. They shot seven of 29 from the floor. So congrats to UConn and the three first-timers. Have an awesome Monday. We'll reconvene tonight. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence, CBS Sports Radio. Boom!
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