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After Hours with Amy Lawrence PODCAST: Hour 4

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence
The Truth Network Radio
March 22, 2024 6:06 am

After Hours with Amy Lawrence PODCAST: Hour 4

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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March 22, 2024 6:06 am

How does your bracket look after Day 1? Which upsets did you pick correctly? | Which #1 seed in the Men's Tournament will be eliminated first? | What's it like to coach Caitlin Clark? Iowa Hawkeyes Women's HC Lisa Bluder lets us know. 

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Subject to credit approval, no minimum purchase required, minimum monthly payment, down payment, tax and delivery may be required. See store for details. I don't know who wins, the Jedi or the Empire, when it comes to this March Madness in the NCAA tournament. For some reason, the Empire State Building was flashing Darth Vader and Star Wars images on Thursday night. Maybe a nod to the NCAA and the fact that you do sometimes have a brand new lightly trained Jedi named Luke Skywalker take out the Death Star.

You never know, it could happen. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. On Twitter, ALawRadio, take our poll. We want to know which number one seed in the men's tournament is eliminated first.

That is the question. North Carolina was the only one to play on Thursday. The other three, UConn, Houston, Purdue, will all get into action. First round action coming up on Friday. So the tournament tips off again in mere hours.

So about seven hours from now and it's a veritable smorgasbord, everything you could possibly want. And we had a nice mixed bag of light and dark and double digit seeds and blue bloods flexing their muscles. We had rallies, we had upsets, we had it all. Cinderella still dancing, although don't tell Oakland that it's supposed to be a Cinderella because the Grizzlies do not want to wear that slipper. Oregon, how can you call Oregon an upset winner?

Except according to seeds, somebody's got to do it. Somebody's got to be an 11. Somebody's got to be a 10 or a 12. It's just a number like age, right? It's just a number when you get to the stage.

Doesn't matter anymore. Everybody's got to go out there and play on the same court and it's the same length. The hoops are the same height.

I'm evoking Hoosiers here, right? Where, who cares? The court is exactly the same dimensions as what we've played on all season long. And if you played your way in, well then you have just as much right to be there. And so I love that basketball is wide open. We've already seen that in the men's tournament, but which number one seed will be the first to go out? Somebody's got to be the first, but will it be to a 16? That's the question now.

I think we all can kind of anticipate that based on what we've seen twice in the last five years. So we've got the poll up on our Twitter after our CBS or in my Twitter, ALawRadio. Oh, there's something about Oreos too, but you'll have to check it out yourself. And then our Facebook page and our YouTube channel After Hours with Amy Lawrence. So good to have you with us.

Happy Friday to you. Right, did someone say Cinderella? Don't tell Jack Golke. As a player, you can't think that way. You got to go out there and you got to think that you have the same talent level as them. I know they have draft picks and I know I'm not going to the NBA, but I know on any given night I can compete with those type of guys and our team can compete with those type of guys.

And that's why I was so confident going into it, and that's why I say we're not a Cinderella because when we play our eight game, we can be the best team on the floor. Get it to Townsend, head of the circle, got it to Golke, turn around, three pointer, shot no good. But the rebound comes down, Oakland covers it, Golke got it back, he wants another three.

That one is good! Golke did it again! Ten made three pointers. Watts slowly dribbling in front of his own bench, crossover with the dribble. Shot once but twice, now drives, kicks to the corner, Cole to three, got it from the left side.

Three pointer for D.Q. Cole, it's 78-74, Oakland on top, Kentucky takes a time out. This is in as Kentucky inbounds, they get it in, the throw to the front, Reeves, three point jumper, no good, Golke down with the rebound.

Maybe now they know where Oakland is. There are the history books, an 80-76 upset victory over Kentucky. The call on the NCAA Westwood One Radio Network, yeah this is the time of the year when that happens, the Golden Grizzlies get ten triples, ten of them, off the bench from a grad student, a grad transfer, Jack Golke played for a Division II school, had a year of eligibility left because of the COVID situation, the COVID period, he joins Oakland and has the game of his life. And he says I'm not going to play in the NBA, Kentucky has a ton of those guys, that's not who we are. But we also know because of our experience, they've got a bunch of seniors and a couple of guys who are grad students, whereas you're facing a team in Kentucky that has a lot of freshmen, almost the entire roster is underclassmen. So sometimes that experience, and also the fact that you've got guys who played together for a couple of years, it translates into a win, where freshmen can get nervous, they can feel the pressure a little differently, they can make mistakes.

So yeah, Golke has a career high 32, 10 for 20 from beyond the arc, meanwhile, John Calipari is left to wonder what just happened, his team now on a streak of one and four in their last five tournament games. I thought they were anxious, and when you're anxious, you get really tired really fast. So we had a couple guys that started the game and were exhausted within a minute and a half, two minutes. This one hurt because they are the kind of team you love coaching. And I wanted them to advance because of all that they've been through. And I wanted them to have a chance to relish and cherish this event. I've been through it 20 sometimes, my teams have done really well, we've lost a couple of these now.

But them, this is their time. We're better than we played, but you got to give Oakland credit. John Calipari was just talking about how the tournament should not be expanded, it would ruin what is the perfect event.

Of course, acknowledging that sometimes it's brutal, right? When you go into a first round matchup with a team that's got veterans and a sharpshooter, and even though Kentucky did start to hit some threes late, their freshmen seemed off. There were a lot of turnovers, a lot of mistakes, and then of course the fact that this one guy that maybe they'd never heard of before until they started scouting, Jack Golke, had the game and the show of his life.

It's after hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. Calipari did go on to say he'll reevaluate everything, including the recruitment of freshmen as opposed to transfers, right? Building a team on the backs of these blue chip recruits that come out of high school, but as much as he's had a lot of success doing that, it's not worked lately in the tournament. Two of his last three losses on the stage were against double digit seeds.

Now does that mean his program is a failure? No, but it means Kentucky has a different standard, and if what they're doing is not working, maybe they need to try something different. Oakland has a 14, the highest seed. Lowest seed?

I have this conversation every single year. High seed or low seed? I say high seed. You say high seed?

Yeah. Okay, so I actually say low seed. I usually say high seeds, referring to the double digits. So like UConn being a one, I'll say they're a low, personally.

Right, that's what I just said. I say high seed. You said you would refer to a 14 as a low seed. Yes.

No. Now I'm going to confuse myself. If I see UConn as one, I'll say that they are a high seed. Right, so you're the opposite of me. I refer to the lower numbers, one, two, three, four, five, even though they are the best ranked teams, the highest teams in terms of their ranking in college basketball, I call them low seeds. Right, we differ. Yeah, I say they're the high seed.

Right, and maybe I confuse people. But that's how I've always done it because they're the lower numbers, so I call them the lower seeds. But the higher seeds, or the lower seeds, the double digit seeds is safer, I think. The 14 was the lowest, highest to advance. The biggest upset, how about that? The greatest upset, the 14 over the three.

But we had multiple other double digit seeds advance, like Oregon, on the strength of one lights out world class performance. The Ducks will walk it across. Kuznart catch and shoot three, there's another Jermaine Kuznart has 24. Kuznart gets a handoff and nails another three.

Oh my goodness. Four three-pointers in the ballgame, he's got 29 points. Kuznart catches the ball and he's going to dribble some time away, bothered there by Talon Cooper. Now playing catch with Tracy on the outside, shot clock at six, there goes Kuznart again.

Floating shot is good, my goodness. What a ballgame. For Oregon, the name to remember is Jermaine Kuznart, 14 of 22 from the floor, 40 points, six assists, and a highlight interview on TNT following the win. This is my grandma's first game here this season, so I knew I had to make sacrifice for her.

Just one day, that's all I dreamed of, for her to come to one of my games and she was able to come tonight. He just had to go. You know, those are games every player dreams of, you know, getting it going and getting it going in the NCAA tournament's a really good feeling. That's his head coach Dana Altman. So the Oregon Ducks, out of the soon-to-be-defunct Pac-12, get a huge performance from Jermaine Kuznart and beat South Carolina. That's one 11 seed.

And actually, there were a couple of 10 seeds that were on the verge of advancing, like Nevada, who had, gosh, I think it was a 17-point lead in the second half against Dayton when the wheels came off. And this truly was the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, because Dayton comes roaring back, stuns Nevada at the end of this game, and you've got the Flyers, well, flying high. What a battle.

What a battle. Just really proud of our guys. They never quit, showed tremendous resiliency, and they've done that a few times this year, you know, where the chips weren't in our favor.

They found a way. And so I'm just extremely proud of the fight, the grit, the determination that our group showed tonight. That's a good basketball team that we beat and they've had a great year, but our guys never gave up.

I'm proud of the way they believed in each other, believed in what we're doing. Right away on the post-game show following this game, it was Charles Barkley and crew on either TBS or TNT, I can't remember which one, and Nevada, who had a 17-point lead with seven and a half minutes to go, 17-point lead with seven and a half minutes to go, then allowed the Flyers to streak on a 24-4 run, largest comeback in the tournament since 2018. And the looks on the faces, the body language of the Wolf Pack after they realized that they had allowed this one to get away, and then coupled with Charles Barkley and crew talking about how they just, classic, let their foot off the gas, instead of staying tense, forcing the issue, being aggressive, that old adage of play not to lose, or if you will, from the NFL, the prevent defense prevents nothing, Steve Alford had to go address his Wolf Pack after this loss. It's the brutality of March Madness, we say that all the time, and we just really, really poor offense the last seven minutes, and very, very poor defense, and when you do that on the stage, you're probably not going to win very many games, and that's really what happened tonight.

And you could see it, the stress, the anxiety getting compounded, right, as the shots weren't dropping, they lagged on defense, they had a couple of uncharacteristic mistakes, like two guys who were out of bounds to take a ball out, turnovers, just not taking care of their business, simple, basic fundamentals that they've been doing all year, but they trailed by 17, meanwhile the Flyers showed no panic, and gosh, that's not something analytics can explain, it's just human nature. So the 10 seed Nevada gets upset, the 10 seed of Drake also had a lead late, it's another game in which we see a rally, it's really impressive too, because you've got guys who've got tournament experience, and yet to see kind of that seesaw affair of Washington State rallying against Drake, another 7-10 game, they had guys in and out, they had guys fouling out, but Washington State found a way. Watts with 10 to shoot, shovels that pass back out to Wells, Wells back to Watts, he'll launch a three on the right wing, and he hits, oh, the freshman, from deep on the right wing, 61-59, Cougars their first lead since 45 seconds into the second half, 61-59, I don't know what's with the biggest shot of his young career, and the Cougars up by a pair with 138 to go in Omaha. Isaiah Watts off the bench, played 22 minutes but only had 7 points, including one 3 pointer, but he was out there with a handful of steals which made a difference late against Drake, and so the Cougars also with a huge rally, only 8 guys who are available to play, and their coach even acknowledges, we don't always do it in a way that's aesthetically pleasing. As teams couch it and everyone has film on everybody that they've just tried to make it ugly against us a little bit, I think going back to Washington game, UCLA game, conference tournament against Colorado, you got that way a little bit, so it's just, we're growing, we've had a little target on our back since we kind of, we had a chance to win the league and got ranked, and it's just part of the experience of going through it, and people, and we've got these guys, their average is about 34-35 minutes a game, but they've been so tough for us, and just a big win, it's that time of year, just got to do it, it's ugly ball, get on the glass, don't turn it over.

Ugly ball, I like it, you know what else was ugly? Drake went 6 of 14 from the free throw line, 8 free throws, 8 points that were left out there, and you lose by 5, so that's painful. The Cougars, their offense was definitely ugly, they shot under 30% from the floor, and trailed most of the second half, but Drake left the door wide open in large part because of the free throws. And so congrats to the Cougars, first tournament appearance since 2008, and they end up with a win. And yeah, you get the theme over and over, we never give up, we don't ever go away until the buzzer sounds. I think a lot of our identity just comes from defense, so just locking down, making sure we're not getting too far of a lead while we're not scoring, but we always stick together, we never lose confidence in anyone else, so we have our captains, they always keep us together, always motivating us, so we never get down, we're always together, we're always a family on and off the court. Yeah, it definitely was a seesaw affair, right, because Drake has the 8-10 point lead as Washington State goes completely silent offensively, and then the opposite happens. Couple of shots go in and out, again, maybe Drake gets tight, but the hard part is that they missed all those free throws when they had the opportunity to close out Washington State. And then Colorado State, another 10 seed, I had three of them picked into the second round of my bracket, but Colorado State out of gas after playing through Dayton, that was really obvious. So you end up with some powerhouse teams that move on, like Iowa State, who will be the next opponent for Washington State, no trouble there at all.

You have North Carolina as well, Kansas actually got pushed to the brink, so we'll get to that coming up. It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. Your fever is high and the pressure to log in at work is too, but when you finally decide to take care of you, there's Instacart, just because that one perfect coworker of yours is attending all meetings, camera on while she's sneezing, coughing, and aching doesn't mean you have to do the same. Take it from us, trying to stay on top of things will only get you further behind, instead get everything from tissues and teas to cough suppressants and comforting soups delivered through Instacart in as fast as 30 minutes. If anyone needs anything, they can just redirect their questions to that one perfect coworker of yours. Celebrate and save at Ashley's Anniversary Sale with Hot Buys, your choice of colors starting at just $3.99, Ashley Sleep Mattresses starting at $2.50, plus receive a free adjustable base with select mattress purchases and shop top mattress brands like Stearns and Foster, Tempur-Pedic, Purple, and Beautyrest Black with 60 months special financing only at Ashley.

Subject to credit approval, no minimum purchase required, minimum monthly payment, down payment, tax and delivery may be required, see store for details. Old Man Winter here. If I had it my way, it would stay winter all year long, short days, wind chill, black ice and a good polar vortex, heaven. Wait, is it getting warm in here? Your cold snap is over, Old Man Winter, spring has arrived.

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Call 562-314-4603 for details. Cast Forty-five seconds left, goes to his right, now backs up, between the leg dribble, on the switch, keeps the dribble, driving, kick out, left side, Campbell, a chore, top of the key, drives, goes in for the slam, a one-handed flush, right down Main Street, two-point game. And a timeout by Sanford, 88-86, Kansas with 38 seconds to go. Kansas ball up 88-86. They run the baseline, throw it in, Dickinson, they're not going to foul him though on the back court. He leans in, they could have called an offensive foul, now he throws it down court, Adams wide open, dunks it underneath. Somehow Sanford lost Adams, 90-86, Kansas.

This is After Hours with Amy Lawrence. Yeah, it wasn't supposed to be that close, oh my goodness, Rock Chalk Jayhawk fans were sweating inside the arena as everyone started rooting for Sanford, except for those players that were there simply to root for players' families and fans that were simply there to root for the Jayhawks, 13 seed Sanford nearly became another amazing story from the first day of the tournament. Why? Because they were trailing by 22. Maybe you don't know their mascot, it's the Bulldogs, they were trailing by 22 and then started using a press and were running guys in and out from their bench and got it all the way down to one with under a minute to go. But yeah, as they're trapping in the back court, you hear the call there on the NCAA Westwood One, Westwood One NCAA Radio Network, I got it backwards, as they're pressing Nicholas Timberlake, he streaks behind the press, they somehow lose track of him and he takes a long pass and has an easy bucket and then there was a foul call. Now it may have been a phantom foul, it may have been a call that a lot of people didn't agree with, but a call is a call and honestly, over the course of a basketball game, some whistles go your way and some don't, but Kansas and Sanford both had free throw opportunities that they left out there, though not on that occasion. Timberlake was able to make the free throws and they survived being the next upset victim. But yeah, butts were tight for Bill Self and crew as they're hanging on for the dub. We're relieved, excited and proud to get an opportunity to advance. I thought Sanford was great.

I've never played against anybody that there's never a break in the action. They're always pressuring in some way, shape or form and of course the way they shot at the second half was pretty much incredible, but I'm proud of our guys and of course these two guys really stepped up and played great. I thought it was awesome that they brought this environment to this game and to play down, to play with four minutes left with that crowd going like that, you can't get any better than that.

That's what you dream for when you come here. And Bill Self says these guys, he's referring to KJ Adams Jr. who was next to him, a junior who was next to him and he, actually he's not junior, KJ Adams Jr., 20 points and six assists and for him, for the rest of the Jayhawks, this was nuts. They are not a deep team, remember they're missing one of their key guys throughout this tournament and so Timberlake actually got the start in place of McCuller and so they, they're a team that right now is missing one of their top guys and have a shorter bench and only had essentially 25 minutes off their bench, that's it, and six points.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs are able to run guys in and out, in and out, in and out like hockey line changes and so for them, they had fresh legs and were able to press and keep that up for a long period of time for Bucky McMillan. Great game, you know, we kind of knew what it would be, they'd be trying to pose their will on the inside and we'd obviously try to space and play fast and make threes. I had no doubt in the game that if we could get it to single digits in my mind, under the 10-minute mark, I thought we would win. We've kind of been in these spots before where we have big comebacks and we have the juice kind of at the end of the game and I thought we had it.

You know, play here, play there, it could be different. So the 4th seed Jayhawks gave up 51 points in the second half, 51 points to a team that's never won an NCAA tournament game before. In case you don't know, and I love to find this stuff out, Samford is from the Birmingham area, little university that won the Southern Conference and nearly became one of those cool pieces of trivia about the NCAA tournament. The definition of March Madness, right? It's After Hours with Amy Lawrence here on CBS Sports Radio.

Which number one seed is the first to get eliminated on the men's side? We've got the poll up on Twitter and Facebook. Glad to have you all participating and we've had even some calls tonight and tweets from people who were at games on Thursday.

I know a lot of people are looking forward to the Friday action as well. And there's some crazy stories, not just first ever NCAA tournament wins or how about first one in a long time out of the Atlantic 10. For those of you who are in the Pittsburgh area, Duquesne had to rattle off four wins in four days just to grab the automatic bid, first time in the tournament in nearly a half century and first win by upsetting BYU since 1969. All of this for a coach who's already announced he's retiring whenever this season is done.

But not so fast, Keith Dambrot. The only thing they beat us with was one on one and at the three line some, but they didn't get any easy ones. We made them work for everything they got and it's just a tribute to our guys. It's a tribute to our league. Teams like Davidson, VCU, Richmond kind of prepared us for this because they do a lot of similar things and the great coaches in our league got us prepared for this game. So whether or not those are quality wins or the types of wins that would grab the attention or earn merit with a selection committee, that's one thing.

But to get out there and to know that you're prepared to have that confidence, I mean that's certainly a reflection of coaching. And Keith Dambrot is beloved there in Pittsburgh and at Duquesne, but he's done whenever the team is done. And that also applies to the Long Beach State head coach Dan Monson, though his story's a little different. He was done because he was fired. In fact, he was informed by his boss, the athletic director, before the conference tournament that he was a lame duck, essentially, that he would not be allowed to continue.

Yeah, really crazy, right? He was fired last Monday because the team had lost five games in a row, but he was allowed to coach through what they thought would be the conference tournament. So they go into the Big West, the team responds by winning the Big West and the automatic bid and getting the trip to face Gonzaga in the NCAA tournament. But now, though, for Dan Monson, time to say goodbye to his team after they lose to the Zags. It was emotional in the locker room, but I made him look me in the eye because there's no heads down because I can't be more proud this group needs their heads up high. And I want to thank them for the ride. My stance this week doesn't change.

I'm the luckiest guy in this tournament in the world to get to do what I got to do today with these guys. I know that it's emotional and I can imagine his kids feel terrible, right? Because they wanted to do this for their coach. They wanted to be the David that slayed Goliath for their coach who got fired, taking that personally.

And so certainly there's going to be tears and there's going to be these tough goodbyes. But actually, Dan Monson had a great sense of humor about it earlier in the week when he was obviously getting questions about the fact that he's a lame duck, dead man walking, whatever. He's also one of the most popular comedies in the history of TV. You guys see the Seinfeld when George Costanza was trying to get fired and couldn't get lose his job and still going to work every day. And that's that's me.

I'm a Seinfeld episode going on right now in real life. Now wouldn't it be cool if the Long Beach State Athletic Department reversed course and brought Dan Monson back? According to the AD, and I don't know that I believe this any more than I believe the Otani camp right now, but the timing of his decision to fire the coach was because he hoped it might actually inspire the team to go on a deep run. Quote, my belief and hope is that by doing what I did and the timing of it, they would play inspired and that's what they did. I'm not trying to pat myself on the back, but it worked.

Bobby Smitherin, are you kidding me? They lost. Well, right. They lost. That was before they lost.

Yeah. But to run the table in the tournament to get the automatic bid to make it into March Madness, I mean, if that's really true, that is playing awful tricks with your team and with a coach. I would be pissed if I was Dan Monson. And his livelihood. He actually said that he doesn't want to finish coaching.

He wants to continue coaching, but he has no idea what happens now. I mean, that AD. That's a slimy game. That is a really sleazy way to do it. Man.

No respect. Uh-uh. So we'll see whether or not Dan Monson works in 24-25. On Twitter, ALawRadio, which men's seed is eliminated first? Also on our Facebook page. Coming up, speaking of number one seeds, Lisa Bluder and the Iowa Hawkeyes earned a one seed. Kaitlyn Clark, all the rage everywhere. She's in commercials now.

Everywhere she goes, people are sure to follow. Had fun talking with Lisa earlier in the week and can't wait for you to hear part of that conversation and also to see what the Hawkeyes do moving forward. Yo, next round is about to start. You ready? Yeah. Yeah. Just shopping for a car in Carvana. For real?

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He dribbles it out across the time line, there it is, count them up, one, two, three in a row. Iowa Hawkeyes, big 10 tournament champions. This is after hours with Amy Lawrence.

From Learfield, IMG. It's been a year of OMG for fans watching Kaitlin Clark and the Iowa Hawkeyes as they've earned a number one seed for the first time in a long time and on TV, record ratings, fans flocking to the arena, selling out even football arenas to see exhibition games, but now is the real test as Lisa Blueders, Hawkeyes are trying to get back to the championship game and capture the ultimate prize. It's after hours with Amy Lawrence on CBS Sports Radio. It was really cool to be able to catch up with Lisa earlier in the week once Iowa found out it was in fact a one seed for this women's NCAA tournament. And I asked her mentally and physically what it's been like for her group to go through a season with so much attention and everything that comes with being directly in the center of the spotlight. You know, it's been a blast. I mean, people are like, you know, is it been hard?

No, are you kidding? This is what we've been trying to get for years. We've been trying to get people to understand how good our game is and we've been trying to get these crowds. And when I first came to Iowa, you know, 24 years ago, I walked in with my two assistant coaches and says, wow, can you imagine if we could ever fill this place? And now every single game has been sold out all year.

And so, you know, it's a dream and we're not going to complain about that dream. Coach Lisa Bluder of Iowa is with us here after hours on CBS Sports Radio. I got to tell you, my mom knows very little about sports. I mean, she followed me when I played and she knows what I do for a living. But she has been texting me almost every time the Iowa women play a game during the Big Ten Championship, going back to the big senior day where Caitlin had another record. My mother is texting me. Are you watching?

I'm watching. I mean, that's just in my own world, the impact of what your team has done. Is there any way for you even to summarize the way that this team is impacted, not just the sport, but sports in general?

It's hard for me to put my hands around my mind around all the way. But what I absolutely love is that people have fallen in love with this team. And I think it's because we play a really fun style and we lead the country in scoring. We lead the country in assists.

We lead the country in field goal percentage. So I think we play a really fun style. And I think you can recognize that our kids are having fun out there. They enjoy each other.

They are doing some spectacular things when you're Caitlin Clark that nobody else can do, which is fun to see. But I really think we've brought a lot of joy to people. And as a basketball coach, if I can do that with our team, I mean, that just brings a lot of pleasure to me that we're providing that for other people.

Coach Lisa Bluder of Iowa is with us here after hours, CBS Sports Radio, a number one seed trying to get back to that Final Four and another shot at a championship. And you said it's fun and you're having a good time. But it could still be a lot in terms of media and just the demands on time. I'm sure social media as well.

So have you seen them grow into that? Well, I try to tell them to avoid social media if they can. I know they have to post. I get that. But I'm like, don't read it.

You can post it, but don't read it. And all the comments and such. Now, I don't know how much they heed my advice, but that is my advice to them, just because there is a lot of haters out there and you don't want to read that stuff.

But with the media, you know, we try to screen as much as we can so that they're not over inundated with requests constantly. And you know, I think last year's experience really prepared us for this to last year's experience of being in the championship game and all that came with that and then the return home and then obviously the, you know, the circuit for Caitlin going around to collect all the awards that she won. I think it prepared us for this situation this year. What's different about your team now from a year ago, coach? We're faster than we were. I will say that we get up and down the court a lot better.

We're a better rebounding team than we were last year. And now, you know, we just we have some really good experience. I have, you know, three starters in the starting lineup or played in the national championship game, started in the national championship game last night.

That's a tremendous experience. You're an Iowa lifer. I actually was speaking to a reporter not that long ago, and I asked her why you were the right leader, the right coach for this team and for this time. And she said, because she's Iowa. So what makes Iowa so special when it comes to not just basketball, but women's basketball in that tradition? You know, Iowa has been always ahead of everybody else as far as basketball. For example, we played basketball in the state in the 1920s. We were having girls basketball in the 1920s and packed stadiums, sold out stadiums in the 60s, 70s to watch girls play basketball. So, you know, when we brought in women's sports here at Iowa, 51 years ago, Dr. Christine Grant was our our athletic director and Dr. Grant was a pioneer for women's athletics. She was a, you know, a campaign for gender equity in Title nine over and over again.

So, you know, maybe Title nine wasn't born here in Iowa City, but it sure grew up here. And we are very proud of our heritage that we have with women's rights and women's athletics here at the University of Iowa. And even thinking back to we mentioned that other number one seed to the last one in 92 and see Vivian Stringer and what she meant in growing the the program as well in college sports have changed to ever look around and think, wow, it has grown and changed so dramatically. It's almost hard to keep up sometimes.

It is hard to keep up. And I'm so thankful that Coach Stringer was here because she really put, you know, I won the map. She wasn't the first coach here. She was the third coach here. But certainly she was the first coach that got resources here. And she did such a marvelous job. And, you know, we're friends to this day, and I'm so thankful for the start that she gave to this program. And I know, like, you know, back then everybody thought, you know, Iowa was drawing these these great crowds and they were back then.

But I look back at those numbers and they were like seven thousand eight thousand. So I mean, women's basketball just nationally has just exploded and it's just fun to be on this side of it. I'm going to say we because I played college basketball, too. How do we keep that going? How do we continue with the momentum to the point where this isn't a flash in the pan? This is people really understanding why women's basketball is special in its own right. Well, I think, for example, Amy, you said I was the first female coach you've ever had on the show.

Well, there you go right there. Like, we need to keep having exposure, whether it's television, whether it's radio, whether it's newsprint. You know, the exposure is what gets people's attention. If they don't know about you, you could have the best products out there.

But if they don't know about you, they're not going to be able to talk about you or see you. And so the exposure has grown for women's athletics and with it, a long has come of the attendance. I really believe that we have a great product and we need to we need to be able to showcase it. What does a final four do for a program when you get to one and you have all the attention in the nationally televised games? How has life changed for you as a coach after a final four? You know, it hasn't changed a whole lot.

You know, it really has another. I might get a few dinners bought for me downtown, but you know, other than that, it hasn't changed a whole lot. Still the same old coaching staff as we always were. Well, the challenge obviously is that you're not going to catch anyone by surprise, right? Everyone knows who you are and what Caitlin and your group brings to the table. I just love that the girls continue to talk about wanting to be national champs.

It's not just about the attention or about Caitlin's record. It's also about winning. Where do you get to the place or what does it look like, coach, when you're playing your best basketball?

It's beautiful. Like, I always tell the team, like, it's like a dance, and I know that sounds kind of corny, but to me it is. It's like a synchronized dance. Like when we're all moving and the spacing on the floor is perfect and we're passing the ball and for wide open shots, to me, it's just a beautiful dance. And that's, you know, like you said, you know, everybody's kind of got our like circled us on the calendar. We've played in so many intense environments all year this year.

I do think we are prepared for the NCAA tournament more so than in the past, just because of the environment that we've played in. Coach Lisa Bluder, Caitlin Clark's coach and mentor. She's Miss Iowa and or she is Iowa and Caitlin Clark chose to stay home and play for her and they have such a great relationship. It's been amazing to watch the development and obviously the explosion of the story and the enchantment with the Hawkeyes and with Caitlin Clark, and yet the teammates are not jealous.

I really enjoy seeing how they all work together and how happy they are for Caitlin Clark. It's after hours here on CBS Sports Radio, by the way. Coach Lisa Bluder, I told her it's true. The selection show that we'd done for 10 plus years here on Sunday night following the reveal of the brackets.

And now the women are on Sunday as well. She was the first women's coach I'd ever had on a selection Sunday night. Got the top seed, got the Iowa Hawkeyes represented with Lisa Bluder and then just earlier tonight from not just from USC and from California, the top seed Trojans, but former Cavaliers assistant coach as an NBA Cavaliers assistant coach Lindsay Gottlieb, that name familiar on the shores of Lake Erie. She was very generous and had also the idea of, hey, let's put more women's basketball on TV because when we do, people will really understand why it's so much fun and why it's worth paying attention to.

And so, yeah, awesome. We're heading into the throws of March Madness as the women's tournament gets underway today. And then the men's day number two. You could fall into a basketball coma over the next few days, but make sure you're back with us Sunday night. Also, if you haven't yet filled out your bracket for the women's tournament, it's our first one ever pinned to the top of our Twitter after our CBS and our Facebook page. Have a great weekend. Talk to you Sunday night. It's after hours with Amy Lawrence, CBS Sports Radio.

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