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David Cobb | CBS Sports NCAAB Writer

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The Truth Network Radio
April 4, 2023 6:07 am

David Cobb | CBS Sports NCAAB Writer

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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April 4, 2023 6:07 am

College hoops writer for CBS Sports David Cobb joins the show from NRG Stadium in Houston to talk UConn and the National Championship.

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That's BetterHELP.com slash positive. And now in Houston, we're excited to welcome David Cobb, who's been working feverishly in the wake of this final four in this championship. And he works for CBS Sports, and I saw some of the photos that you put up, David, on Twitter. You had a pretty sweet seat there, not that far from Jim Nantz. So how would you describe his impact or how will you remember Jim Nantz and his impact on this event? Well, yeah, I'm 30 years old and I can't remember a final four without Jim Nantz on the call. So to be there just a few seats away from him tonight, as he called his final game, was surreal. And one of the things that I'll always remember about this final four in Houston, UConn's run, absolutely memorable, phenomenal. Jim Nantz signing off to me feels the same way, an iconic voice, not only in college basketball across all sports. And the good thing is that we'll get to hear him again in just a few days at Augusta National. So it's not goodbye forever, but it's goodbye from college basketball and the game is better because of the impact that he had on it. Agreed. And so, yes, we love Jim Nantz and there's not a voice out there that is more versatile than his.

He can do anything in broadcasting and do it at the highest level. So, David, inside the arena there at NRG Stadium, you have this kind of wave initially for San Diego State taking an early lead, only to see UConn rally and then hold the Aztec scoreless for 11 plus minutes from the field. Then you've got San Diego State chipping away around half, pulling within five points.

How would you describe the atmosphere inside NRG as we get these waves and these various runs by each of the teams? Yeah, just an incredible showing from the San Diego State fan base. You don't always associate Mountain West schools with having huge fan bases and just incredible support halfway around the country, right? But the Aztecs showed up and they were loud tonight and I'm actually on the court now and I just went and looked.

There is, in fact, not a lid on the basket that they played on during the first half. But obviously UConn's defense was tremendous for a long, long stretch there in the first half. And their fans responded to that and rallied behind that. That's the sign of an intelligent basketball fan base when they appreciate things other than scoring, when they appreciate things other than three-point shooting and dunking the basketball.

And the UConn fan base, they appreciate good defense and there was a lot of really good defense from UConn in that first half tonight. The Final Four that I attended at NRG was in 2017 between North Carolina and then Villanova who had the Chris Jenkins buzzer beater. Going back to the national semifinals, what did it sound like in NRG when Lamont Butler hit the buzzer beater to put the Aztecs into the championship? Wow, just incredible. What a scene, what a moment.

Everything blacks out when that happens. It's just such a roar. It's almost indescribable. I thought right as that play began to pull out my phone and videotape it, that's one of a thousand shots or more of that shot from within this arena. Obviously the San Diego State fans and Lamont Butler and that team, they will remember that shot forever. But just like the Jalen Sudds buzzer beater to take down UCLA in the bubble year, you just don't quite get the same historical impact on a play like that when it doesn't ultimately lead to the team winning the national title.

Nonetheless, an incredible moment and one of those types of images that will live on from this Final Four in Houston this year. David Cobb is with us from NRG, apparently standing on the court. What's happening inside the stadium right now? Well, there are a lot of maintenance folks taking down the court, but the podium is still here. In fact, I'll walk up the steps right now and stand on the podium where Dan Hurley and the Huskies stood just a few hours ago.

But there are still media hard at work in the workroom, which I wanted to leave there and give them a quiet space to work. But I was just able to finish up my story on Adama Sanogo, who tonight etched his name in UConn lore. And that'll be up online in a few hours, but it'll be 3 a.m. on the East Coast by the time we get out of here tonight. 3 a.m. UConn time for sure. David covers college basketball for CBS Sports.

It's after hours here on CBS Sports Radio. We now know that he's standing on the championship podium where Sanogo earned the most outstanding player award for this tournament, averaging roughly 20 points and 10 rebounds in these six games. What is his story?

What is so special about his story, David? Well, it's the fact that he didn't begin playing basketball until age 12. This is a young man from Mali, from the other side of the world, who now a decade later is held in the same esteem as players like Richard Hamilton, Kimba Walker, Emeka Okafor, Shabazz Napier, these other UConn legends. Adama Sanogo took his place among those greats tonight.

And don't take my word for it, I spoke with Ray Allen, with Rudy Gaye in the UConn locker room after the game. And that's the way they characterized what Adama Sanogo accomplished for UConn in this NCAA tournament. He was the rock, the foundation for them throughout this six game run in the tournament and was just, he was legendary. This was a deep team. Heck, they might have been able to win it without him, but he is the reason why they were so dominant.

And there's really no debate over that. Why ultimately did Dan Hurley fit what UConn men's basketball was looking for? Why ultimately is he the right guy for this job? Well, he's just a junkie. He's a total hoops head.

Absolutely eats, lives and breathes all things basketball. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if he's up right now worrying about next year's roster. I hope he's enjoying this one a little bit. He certainly should.

He deserves to. But it's no surprise. If you go and look at his background, of course, his father, Bob Hurley, is the legendary former high school coach in New Jersey. His brother is the head coach at Arizona State. Basketball is life and that fits UConn because at UConn there is no greater basketball school in America. When you consider the immense success that Geno Auriemma and the women's program there have had and the men's program as well, I thought it was fitting. Alex Caravan, the red shirt freshman forward in the locker room tonight, brought up the women's team and said between what they have accomplished and what we have accomplished, there is no better basketball school in America. Dan Hurley fits that because of how much of a basketball man he is from a basketball family. Tonight we saw coordination of a new coaching star in the college basketball ranks. It kind of ups the ante for Geno. I know he was without his best player this year, but they don't make the Final Four for the first time in a long time.

Meanwhile, the men go on to win the title. It's kind of a nice little rivalry renewed there. Friendly rivalry among the Huskies. Yes, yes, and he was on the court tonight in UConn apparel, held court actually with some of the media here after the game. He was very much in support of Dan Hurley and I know dating back way back there was maybe some tension there between those programs.

But none of that, none of that now. He was here and had a smile on his face from ear to ear as these UConn players were celebrating their title tonight. David, I have about 90 seconds to go. I remember when I was there at NRG for the last Final Four that the celebrities were out. Michael Jordan was probably the most famous that I got close to, was able to get a photo, just happened to be the right place for my time.

Who were a few of the celebs or famous people that you saw in the arena? Absolutely, Bill Murray here tonight. His son Luke Murray is an assistant on this UConn staff, has been with Hurley for years and years dating back to Wagner and Rhode Island. And so Bill Murray, I thought it was a really cool scene and I tweeted a picture of this. You had Luke Murray climbing the ladder to cut down the net with his son there on the ladder with him. And then off in the background taking a photo of the moment was Bill Murray.

And he was just another proud parent in that moment. That's how it was on this court, on this platform tonight. And that's how those UConn legends were. Rudy Gay and Ray Allen in that locker room. They were just like proud older brothers tonight.

Even these stars and these names that we know, they just become fans in some ways in these cool moments. So what do you do now that college basketball is done, David? We've got to rank the transfer portal players for next season. We've got to get started on that.

So hopefully we'll sleep a little bit, but there is no rest for the weary these days in college basketball. Well, I appreciate a couple of minutes. And yes, check out that photo on David's Twitter at David W. Cobb. You can clearly see proud father and grandfather Bill Murray taking a photo at the base of the ladder as his son is cutting his piece of the net.

David covering college hoops and college football for CBS Sports. We're glad to connect with you for the first time. We'll have you on again. Thanks so much. Absolutely. Thank you so much.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-04 08:25:59 / 2023-04-04 08:30:31 / 5

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