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Aaron Arrives At A Decision (Hour 1)

Zach Gleb Show / Zach Gleb
The Truth Network Radio
March 15, 2023 7:15 pm

Aaron Arrives At A Decision (Hour 1)

Zach Gleb Show / Zach Gleb

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March 15, 2023 7:15 pm

Aaron Rodgers makes it known he wants to play for the Jets l What are the expectations for the Jets next season? l John Fanta, Fox college basketball broadcaster


Live from the police show, yet not overly ostentatious, studios of CBS Sports Radio, here in beautiful New York City, sitting on top of the 10th floor of 345 Hudson Street. Welcome on in to a Wednesday edition of the Zach Gelb show across all the great local CBS Sports Radio affiliates, Sirius XM, Channel 158, and that free Odyssey app. 855-212 for CBS. I'm going to jump on in. 855-212-4227 if you want to hang and you could always get at me on the good old cesspool of Twitter or on Instagram where I'm straight flexing at Zach Gelb.

That's Z-A-C-H-G-E-L-B. John Fanta going to join us coming up 40 minutes from now. We will preview the NCAA tournament. Darrel Moose Johnston will stop by at the top of the hour.

Bart Winkler at 7 40 p.m. Eastern, 4 40 p.m. Pacific, and then John Kuhn will join us at 9 p.m. Eastern, 6 p.m. Pacific. A whole lot to do today. A whole lot of something.

About a whole lot of nothing. But first up, producing the extravaganza for the next four hours is no other than Hot Take Hickey. Hot Take Hickey.

You know how I knew today was a big day, Hickey? I had to go get a tuxedo. I had to buy a tuxedo.

I got two weddings coming up. Didn't have a tuxedo. In the past, I've rented it, lost a lot of weight, so I need a new tuxedo, so I elected to buy one. So the tuxedo came in and they had to tailor it, and they had to make some alterations. And this guy, Allen, and this very nice lady that was helping me out were talking about Aaron Rodgers. And the way that they brought it up as this lady was helping me with the whole tuxedo, she goes, ah, today's a big day. And at first, I thought she was just talking about like, oh, because I'm getting the tuxedo or something.

Then I realized, oh, you're a sports fan. And she eventually said, yeah, there's a big interview happening at 1 p.m. Eastern. So then I was on Long Island this morning, and I go from the tuxedo place, and it's about like 1230 p.m. Eastern when I walk out of there, and I shoot over to the local bagel place that I like to go to when I got a chopped chicken salad, which was like delicious, and then also an everything bagel. When I got there, because a little bit of a drive from the tuxedo place to the bagel shop, it was like 1255-ish on the East Coast.

When I was walking through the bagel place, which was buzzing, almost every person in the bagel place was like glued to their phone. And I kind of realized, oh, people are waiting for this Aaron Rodgers interview with Pat McAfee. So I then open up my phone right at 1 p.m. Eastern. You have the countdown.

Three, two, one. It's Rodgers Wednesday on the Pat McAfee show. And at one point, I saw there was like 400,000 people that were watching. Now, I knew this was a big deal yesterday, and you knew that this interview was coming, and we talked about it. And great job by Pat and A.J.

Hawk and Adam Pac-Man Jones and the entire McAfee crew. But it's really a whole big commotion that really we didn't learn anything today, in my opinion. Like, if you've been listening to this show, or if you've had a brain, it's been obvious for the last two weeks that Aaron Rodgers was done with the Green Bay Packers, and he was going to wind up with the New York Jets. Some people may have been stubborn about it.

Some people maybe didn't want to admit that or come to reality. I know we finally heard it from Rodgers today. Hey, this is it. I'm not going to be back in Green Bay.

My intentions are to play to the Jets, and you got some other details as well. But in the hour interview, there was a lot of times with Rodgers, everything he says, I take it with a grain of salt. He talks in circles. He tries to take these jabs at people like, oh, he got Adam Schefter and Diana Rossini. Like, give me a break. Schefter and Rossini look better today than Rodgers did. So this entire thing just goes on today.

And really, I only pulled a few things from it. Number one, OK, now you officially know that Aaron Rodgers wants to play with the Jets. You couldn't figure it out yesterday when Allen Lazard all of a sudden signs with the Jets. And we're just waiting on the return and how that deal is going to be executed with the salty Packers and the Jets, who are probably trying to get him for basically nothing eventually. And it's been inevitable for the last two weeks. This deal is going to go down.

This deal is going to get done. And Aaron Rodgers in 2023 is going to be playing for the New York Jets. But outside of that, OK, Rodgers is annoyed with the Packers.

What else is new? He's been annoyed with the Packers the last three years, ever since they drafted Jordan Love. And the part that I thought he was very hypocritical about, he's like, oh, the Packers, they were dishonest with them at the end of the season because they said it was his decision and they would give him the time that he needs. And then he's he's followed up by AJ Hawkins said, would you have accepted a return to the Packers? The Packers came to you right at the end of the season and said, hey, we want you to come on back. And he said, no. So if you're annoyed that the Packers were maybe dishonest with you, maybe you could have been a little bit more honest with them. Maybe you could have communicated instead of locking yourself in a cave for four or five days. I still can't believe when I say that sentence on the radio. That's actually what happened with one of the all time great quarterbacks, that he was in this darkness cave for, for what was it?

Three days, four days, five days, however, he was explaining it on, on the McAfee show today. So it's like very simple. You may be annoyed with the Packers, but if you were never going to return there, you could have just simply told the Packers, guys, it's done. It's finished. It's over.

I don't want this out there. The thing I'm deciding on is retirement or playing for another team. And then I'll bring you back into the loop, back in on the conversation. So I could say there's a miscommunication on both sides, but Aaron Rogers, what he's clearly doing here. And I think this is insufferable. He's trying to find extra motivation and he's already used the motivation card to the extreme whenever they drafted Jordan Love. But this whole idea that he was nine before he walked into the cave, that he was at a 90% rate of retiring is a bunch of hogwash, bologna and BS.

I don't think you're basically a lot to retire at 90%. You go sit down with no light and you lock yourself in a cave. And when they knocked on the door in the morning up, here's your breakfast. Oh, you know, it's 6 a.m. that all of a sudden when you walked out of there and you sense things started to change from the Packers that you go, oh, now I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I was about to retire and now I'm going to come back and I'm going to make the Packers pay because they didn't treat me right at the end.

Like, does anyone actually believe that? This guy is such a drama whore. That's what he is. He's a great football player. He's a hall of famer.

He is wonderful on the field, but he loves the attention and he loves the drama. And here comes the story, the fake motivation of all the Packers no longer want me. I'm on the verge of retirement. Now I'm going to go to the Jets. And what are you going to do with the Jets? He'll go to the Jets. He's in a tougher division. He's in a tougher conference. He'll win games.

We know that. He'll probably be in the playoffs next year. But if he couldn't get the job done when he was 13 and three and 13 and three and back to back years and he was the MVP of the league and had home field advantage, he couldn't get the job done and his offense failed up against Tampa Bay and San Francisco. Do I think all the sudden Aaron Rodgers is bringing a Lombardi trophy to the Jets?

No, I don't see it. So really today you didn't get much. You got a few things, but there's a whole lot of commotion being made about this. And I just thought it was an hour of Rodgers talking in circles and trying to play the victim card and also trying to make the Packers look bad. Both sides are at fault. Both sides could have done better. But I thought today for the most part, and I know it's fun and I know we listen to it and I know it's things that we react to and it can be intriguing.

I get that. But for the most part, I thought this hour today was a giant waste of time because we told you earlier in the week, Trey Winkle told you all the way last week that he's going to the Jets, the deal's going to get done and now we just got to wait and wait and wait and wait more. All we really found out today was that Rodgers finally said it. That the chapter with Green Bay, and I thought that was the classy part, with the way that he thanked the fans and he talked how much about how he loved Green Bay, that'll give it to Rodgers. I thought that was good and someone on McAfee show who's a Packers fan, gave the Packer fan side of it.

I thought that interaction was pretty neat. So I'll give Rodgers credit for that. But all we really got today was, I guess you could say some clarity, but it was so obvious.

It was two plus two equals four. That's how easy the math was to figure out he's done with the Packers. He's not going to retire and he's going to the Jets. So this has been, he even said it, he made that decision last week. And today was the day that he just got to be able to tell his side of it. So that's pretty much where we are right now on the Aaron Rodgers front.

Hickey, I'll get another voice in on this conversation. Maybe you have a differentiating opinion. You watched that, what, our interview today on the Patton McAfee show with Aaron Rodgers.

What was some of your biggest takeaways? Because you may have a different view because you actually thought this delay the last few days was Rodgers maybe having cold feet about the Jets, another team potentially getting in, or maybe him walking away and retiring. So let me get your viewpoint on this matter with Aaron Rodgers saying today, my intentions are to play with the Jets and his time in Green Bay is over. A shock, the fact that he almost retired at this point, it'd be three weeks ago, four weeks ago, roughly whenever he was getting ready to kind of go into the darkness retreat.

I was floored. I thought at this point, maybe you're reconsidering it. Not the fact that it can't be the other way around.

And it was almost a month ago, you were basically leaning towards walking away and walking away from $60 million. That I thought was, at that point again, before he goes to the darkness retreat, not a real, yeah, of course, why wouldn't I? I don't believe that for a second.

Well, why did you lie about it? I just think it's the drama part of Aaron Rodgers. And this is him trying to make this story into, I'm going to use this disc by the Packers, basically saying, we don't want you anymore to say, Oh, I was on the verge of retirement.

And now I'm going to New York with something to prove and I have new life and I'm ready to go like that. To me, if he's actually was 90% on the verge of retirement, I wonder how committed you're going to be for this season. Like you were basically, you were, if that's true, the ball was on the one yard line and you were a yard away from scoring a touchdown. You know, that's pretty damn close to retiring. And then all of a sudden it's, Oh yeah, now I'm all in and ready to go for the jets.

Like that just doesn't make sense to me. I know it was a celebratory day for the jets, but yes, I have big concerns from a Jets fan. This is not going to work out. This feels like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving going to Brooklyn where as soon as the signing happens, there's a lot of excitement. There's all these dreams of success.

And in reality, when all was said and done, there was a lot of drama and very little success. I think whether it's two years from now, three years from now, maybe even one year from now, when this Aaron Rogers saga ends in New York and his career's over, I think Jets fans will be feeling very similar to how Nets fans felt a few months ago when the Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving experience ended in part because yes, I do believe he was close to retirement, which means he's already at one foot at the door, which means how committed is he going to be? There was questions last year about the Packers wondering how all in Aaron Rogers was. And now I think that if you're a Jets fan, sure, you're going to get him, it seems like, and he says he's going to play for you, but there's major questions of how committed he's going to be this year and how motivated he's going to be to try to win a Super Bowl, which is the only goal you have as a Jets fan now that you're getting Aaron Rogers. But I don't think it will be as ugly as Durant and Kyrie, just because the Jets, the rest of the guys, like outside of the Stars, like when you look at KD and Kyrie, and then you just look at the star of Aaron Rogers, I just think the Jets roster is constructed the right way.

And I know that there will be some changes because whether he wants to admit it or not, there's some demands with him coming to New York and he didn't want to admit that today. But you look at the Jets last year with a good roster and no quarterback play, like horrible, abysmal, putrid quarterback play, the Jets were 7-10. Like we went through their schedule yesterday, what you have them at, like 11? I think you had them at 11 wins or 12 wins, whatever it was. So you would think bare minimum, Rogers going to the Jets is going to get you three more wins and you'll get to 10 wins and you should be a playoff team. I guess the better question is to determine how much of a disaster that it's going to be like in your eyes. I don't think the Jets are winning a Super Bowl.

So like I don't have that as the expectation. I know the Jet fans now are going to say, that's the missing piece. This is the best quarterback we've ever had. They're going to go win a Super Bowl. But when Durant and Kyrie went to Brooklyn, I thought NBA championship. I thought they were going to win a championship because that was the league of dynamic duos and you had Durant and Kyrie Irving and eventually they got Harden.

As long as they could just stay healthy, I thought they were going to win and I was dead wrong on that. But in this case with the Jets, like even when they get Rogers, it's maybe more so just the recent history of seeing him maybe at his best and then having home field advantage and coming up small against the Niners and against Tampa at Lambeau Field. Like now you go to a tougher division.

You go to a tougher conference. You have, I know Brady was standing in the way in the NFC, but then another year it was like Jimmy Garoppolo with the Niners, like please. But now you have Mahomes, Burrow, Trevor Lawrence, Justin Herbert.

Just to name a few of some of those guys that are standing in your way and a few more into the conversation. We'll see what happens with Lamar Jackson and we'll see what other guys take the step this year in the AFC. But like I just kind of look at this move as okay, my expectations for the Jets for the next three years is that they should be a playoff team. But I don't think they are a team that's going to defeat the Chiefs when it matters the most or defeat the Bengals when it matters the most. So that's the only part of it is that my expectations are much different when you compare it to KD and Kyrie thinking it's going to end that way to where my expectations are with Rogers going to the Jets. Well, I think a lot of Jets fans think Super Bowl.

I don't think it's realistic. I think you should, if you're a Jets fan. Like look on paper, getting a two-time MVP that won the awards not that recent, not that far or not that long ago, I should say. But we were in high school when he won a Super Bowl. But I'm saying he's still one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL with a roster you feel like is legitimately good. The expectations should be high. I'm with you.

I don't think they're going to meet them. If they win, if he's there for three years and they win more than two playoff games, honestly, I'd be surprised. But it's also a failure. He's a tremendous regular season quarterback. He is all-time great regular season quarterback, but he leaves you wanting a lot more in the playoffs. So you could say it's an all-time failure if they don't win a Super Bowl, but that's the way that you view your expectations of it.

That it's in your mind Super Bowl or bus. For me, I can't even envision Rodgers after the way that it's been the last four or five years in Green Bay, even going to a roster that's good, going to New York and not only like if he wins a division, fine, that's one thing. But I just don't see how he's going to out-duel the Chiefs and the Bengals just for starters on the biggest stage when he had everything working for him in 2020 and 2021. Oh yeah, and by the way, I know he's going up against the great Tom Brady. Brady threw three interceptions in the second half of that NFC title game. He was handed a trip to the Super Bowl on a silver platter and he couldn't get the job done. Three and out, three and out, down five, and then down eight.

He stalled in the red zone once again. So I just don't think Rodgers goes to New York and my immediate thought isn't to say, oh wow, I think the Jets are going to go win a Super Bowl. So I think in three years from now when this ends, you know, make the playoffs two out of three years, maybe all three, maybe you win a playoff game or two, but for me to think that he's ever going to get a bye.

So if he's not getting a bye, he's going to have to win three playoff games in the AFC to get to a Super Bowl. I just don't see it. It is the Zach Gelb show on CBS Sports Radio. We'll take a break.

We'll do Merage on the other side. John Fanta will preview the NCAA tournament coming up 20 minutes from now. Zach Gelb show, CBS Sports Radio. So Aaron Rodgers has made it clear if there was ever any doubt that he now wants to play for the JTS Jets, Jets, Jets, and now it's up to the Packers and Jets to hammer out a deal and figure out the compensation on what is going to happen.

And we will get into what that potential return could be later on in the show, but we got a very simple question today. And the question is as followed, who wins the AFC East this year, the Bills, the Dolphins, the Jets, or the Patriots? 3% say the Patriots. I guess the Juju Smith-Schuster news did not make anyone say ooh and ah with the Pats and for New England, they just can't stop there. They got to put Mac Jones in a position to succeed.

So they better go get DeAndre Hopkins or Jackson Smith and Jigba. The Dolphins are at 15%. The Jets with Rodgers at 26% and still the majority rocking and rolling with the Buffalo Bills at 56%. Hickey, if we had to do premature AFC East power rankings one through four, how would you order them one through four and give me your order four through one, we will start with New England being at four and oh, how the times have changed. I don't even think that's debatable. New England has to be at four. Without a doubt, I am torn to be honest between two and three.

I'm not. Just because I don't, if two is healthy, I will put the Dolphins ahead of the Jets. But do you believe him to be healthy?

No, which is why I would put the Dolphins three, Jets two and Bills one. Although I don't think that we're going to see Aaron Rodgers take off in 2023. I think it's actually going to be a grind for most of the year offensively, them trying to get on the same page.

But with that said, again, I don't really trust two to stay healthy for even 12 games. But is it really going to be a grind for him to get together offensively? Just because, you know, he thinks that Daniel Hackett's like the brightest guy to ever coach on the offensive side of the ball in football. You heard the way that he was just gushing and just salivating over to Daniel Hackett, who was an embarrassment last year in the NFL.

But they have that relationship with their time in Green Bay. Allen Lazard is coming over from the Packers. Who knows who else will be joining him? Is it Randall Cobb?

Is it Mercedes Lewis? I do believe that them getting on the same page, I don't think it comes instantly, but I don't think it's going to be as much of a struggle because they're going to be running the Hackett system that he knows very well. Could it be a little bit sloppy the first three, four weeks?

Sure. But I think after September, they'll be grooving. And also, you got to look what they're going to ask him to do. Like, I get it. He is now the face of the organization. He's now the star of the franchise. But you look at the state of the Jets. They won seven games last year with no quarterback.

Their rookie running back who was on his way to being the rookie of the year getting hurt. And you have a defense that is dominant, even if they have some struggles early on in the first three, four weeks when everyone's getting on the same page, I don't think it's going to make them lose too much footing and lose too much ground in football. Because also, you look at the state of the game right now, everyone's kind of pretty sloppy the first three, four weeks of the season, just because no one really goes hard anymore, not allowed to go hard anymore in the off season with all the rules that pretty much don't allow you to go all out. Well, you look at recent history, it's like Aaron Rodgers ever really clicked with any new players fast. It took three years to get him and Devine Adams going on the same page. We just saw last year happening in Green Bay and you change up the wide receivers. And even though the offense didn't change, it took basically the entire year for him to get on the same page with new receivers and the offense didn't switch. So even if he's going and it's going to be still a similar offense, he is run with Nathaniel Hackett. Well, now you're asking everyone on the Jets to to conform to what Aaron Rodgers does. And again, he's just a different styled quarterback, where it's not as simple as run a seven yard slant route. It's getting in the mind of Aaron Rodgers.

That's the biggest thing. It's thinking the way Aaron Rodgers thinks. That's how he wants his wide receivers to play.

That's when he's at his best. And that takes a very long time, which is why I don't think one year is going to be enough for all of a sudden we're going to see him and Garrett Wilson have this undeniable, unbreakable relationship or him going in there and the Jets being the fourth best offense in the NFL. But Garrett Wilson won Rookie of the Year last year with dog crap thrown the football to him. So don't you think just naturally he will improve with Aaron Rodgers coming in? That's what I just said. It's different with Aaron Rodgers. It's more mental than physical. You know where you're losing me here?

This is what I just don't get. You don't think this is going to end well for the Jets. And that's a fine take to have. But yesterday you said they were going to win 11 games. So if that's the first year of them struggling to get on the same page, it seems like you think they're going to be a whole lot better than the way that you're making it out to be.

That's what I'm just confused about here. Well, the schedule's not hard. We went through it yesterday. It's on a difficult schedule.

It's not like it's a murderous row here. We're talking about, you know, them playing the best teams in the NFL and winning 11 games. It's a third place schedule. It's manageable. I think it is still, though, a difficult schedule. You have the Cowboys on it. Is that difficult?

I don't know. The Cowboys, haven't they won double digit games the last two years? But they're not a bad team.

I don't think they're just a pushover. They have a really good defense. You also have the Chiefs on that schedule, the Chargers on that schedule, the Eagles on that schedule. Losses for all three. You play the Bills twice.

So like that's right there. Those are six games that are tough. And then don't forget about the Dolphins, too.

And you never know who's going to surprise. I don't think that's like the easiest schedule in the world. And you're Mr. Broncos. They play the Broncos.

We talked to him. We gave most of those teams just, you just mentioned losses. And so you look at the rest of the schedule. It's like get the Patriots twice. You get the Dolphins.

You're going to play two of once, twice, neither. We don't know. It's going to be one of those, you know, crapshoot sort of things. So it's just, you know, again, I just, I don't think he's coming in there and all of a sudden, you know, lighting the world up, winning another MVP and looking at this great quarterback. So how are they going to win 11 games? Because the team around him is good. And the schedule's not great. I don't see how that's that difficult.

First off, I do think it is not as easy of a schedule as you're making it out to be. But if you're saying they're going to win 11 games, Roger's going to have to play at a pretty damn good level for that to happen. I mean, they won eight games last year, them playing pretty poorly.

So then a better team around them, you know. All right, who wins the AFC East this year? One through four. I'll put the Patriots at four, Dolphins at three, just because I can't trust Tua to stay healthy. Jets at two, and then the Bills at one. But it's not going to be a walk in the park for the Bills.

They have a lot of pressure on them after their disappointing season from a year ago. Let me take one before the break, and then we'll get to John Fanta on the other side to break down the NCAA tournament. Let's go to Scott in California quickly. Scott, what's happening? Hey, Zach, it's been a bit, um, just want to say real quick, I haven't been in touch in a while. You did a great job on Radio Real a few weeks ago. Thank you. And I gotta tell you, a long time ago I had a loss prevention manager. I used to manage the lows, and my loss prevention manager, his name was Ryan Hickey.

Yeah, so you're not the only one. But my question for you guys today is, Arrogant Rogers, what kind of deal do you know he's signed for? Because I haven't been, uh, haven't been hearing. And my thing is, this seems like phase one of the Brett Parf situation. His Kirk Cousins got one year, and the last thing I need to see is Rogers.

I, I stomach barf. I cannot stomach Rogers having a horn on his helmet. Arrogant Rogers.

I thought that was very funny. Good job by Scott in California. Well, he can restructure his deal, but right now, since he just signed an extension, he's under contract and is not a UFA until 2025, I believe is when he hits unrestricted free agency. So he's under contract the next few years.

What the contract ends up looking like when the deal gets agreed upon and eventually becomes official, you have to wait and see. But I don't look at this move as this is a wait one year, and then he tries to force himself back into the NFC North to screw over the Green Bay Packers. I think he's going to the Jets because he likes it. Daniel Hackett a lot. He realized that the NFC wasn't a destination and he looks at this Jets team as a young roster that can be good.

So I don't think he's going to the Jets and saying, Oh, I'm just going to use it for one year and then jump ship and force my way out immediately after that one season. All right, the NCAA tournament is here. Really, when I think about March Madness, the two broadcasters who I think are the most exciting during March Madness, of course, the legendary Bill Rafferty onions, and then also our pal John Fanta does a great job the field to 68 piggies, obviously broadcaster and also does a bunch of games for CBS Sports Network and Fox, and he joins us right now. John, always great to hear your voice this time of the year. How you been Zach, I am humbled and flattered to hear that my friend, it is great to be with you on the eve, on the eve of my favorite day of the year. I know a favorite of everybody. Doesn't matter whether you're a College Hoops fan or if you're just checking into the sport tomorrow, we welcome all.

Tomorrow we take voyage on what's going to be a wild three-week journey, my friend, and I cannot wait. I want to start you off because before we saw the seedings and the matchups, I was like, Oh, Oral Roberts could get to a sweet 16. We know them a few years ago, they're better this year, but then they draw Duke in the first round who so many people have going to the final four. How do you see that 5-12 matchup playing out tomorrow 7 10 p.m eastern between Oral Roberts and Duke? Well, I give Paul Mills a lot of credit and what Oral Roberts has been able to do once again, Zach, and there's no question in my mind, the hardest one for John Shire's Blue Devils to get is going to be the first one, actually, in my opinion. If they get this one, I like the way that their draw sets up with Tennessee or Louisiana in the second round because Tennessee's banged up with Zakai Ziegler done for the year and I don't think if Louisiana could ever upset Tennessee, I don't think they have enough in the tank to do to do it twice.

So here's the thing. Duke is going to have problems if they are going to have issues. It's going to be with an elite defensive team that sticks them in the blender, that makes them shoot from the outside, they struggle to do that and then they fall. Oral Roberts is not that team. Oral Roberts is a really good offensive team. Max Casemas does it all for them in the backcourt but Duke has someone who can negate that and Jeremy Roach who last year in March Madness took on that role of Alfa when Duke needed him to and delivered and stepped up.

Has had an up and down regular season but I think you just count on somebody's experience level of understanding the state. So when I look at this matchup, I expect Oral Roberts to be in it. I expect them to fight Duke tough and I think it's hard because it is Shire's first NCAA tournament game and there's a different level of intensity with that but to me the Duke Blue Devils are 18 and 1 on the season when they have their full complement of players.

That's not a coincidence. Duke finds a way to win this game. It might come by 6 to 10 points. It could be closer than expected.

I expect A. Smith to put it all on the floor. I like the Blue Devils to come away with the victory. In that side of the bracket, in that east region, you have Purdue, you have Marquette, Kansas State, you also have Duke like we're talking about, Tennessee. Some people are thinking Memphis could get hot.

Who do you think gets out of that east region? Well, I have Duke on my bracket and that's why I said tomorrow to me is the hardest one because I think once they get on a roll they've won nine in a row heading in the NCAA tournament. If I was not picking Duke, I'm gonna go bold with you and pick Penny Hardaway and Memphis. I like Memphis to beat SAU. I just think as great of a story as Florida Atlantic is, for those who don't know, Dusty May has had an incredible year with Florida Atlantic.

You're talking about a program that's having a, it's never had a season like this. This is a historic season for the Owls and it's a great story, but right now Hendrick Davis is taking it upon himself to elevate Memphis in every way, shape, and form. If you watch that American Championship game on Sunday, yes I know Marcus Sasser did not play, but Houston there's a reason why they've only lost three times the entire season and Memphis beat them.

They defended them and Davis was the best player on the floor. I am taking my chances with Memphis in the bracket because at the end of the day Purdue has freshman guards and we have no idea how Braydon Smith and Fletcher Lawyer are going to handle the NCAA tournament. Zach Eady, we know he's a beast, but Memphis defense, they've got dudes in their front court. I mean DeAndre Williams, that's a guy that's 26 years of age. Like Memphis has dudes down low. They can stop Purdue. So I like the Tigers to shock some folks and I could see Penny going on a deep run and if I didn't pick Penny, on the bottom side of that bracket I'm riding with Marquette. Tyler Kolik is the best point guard in America. He's playing at an extremely high level and Shaka Smart has reinvented himself. Now they're defending.

They aren't too reliant on shots and they are not soft. This is a new Marquette. It's a vintage Marquette. They haven't won an NCAA tournament game in a decade. They'll try to change that Friday. John Fanta here with us. When we go to the south, who in the south part of the bracket has the best chance of preventing Miller and Oates from going to the Final Four?

Yeah, well that's a great question because my answer is nobody. I think Alabama, the number one overall seed, got a really friendly draw, Zach. You know Maryland and West Virginia are both flawed. Maryland hasn't proven that they can win away from their home court. West Virginia is not great defensively. I can't see Alabama getting tripped up in the first weekend.

Okay, so then you trickle down. Virginia and San Diego State are the four and five there. Do you really trust either of them? I mean, I think both could lose tomorrow. I think one will definitely lose. If there's a a prop somewhere out there for the citizen who's got the hard-earned dollars to throw a little coin at him, folks look at the south.

A four or five is going to go down there. San Diego State meets Charleston who's had an unbelievable year at 31-3. Virginia meets Furman.

I love their senior class. Furman's got a really good offensive team. Virginia has problems when teams come down and hit threes against them. You know, the team that you want to say, I know a lot of people look at second seeded Arizona and they think Arizona, I don't know about that because I don't trust their backcourt. Baylor is a team that I think could, if they get on a run, they still have as great of a backcourt trio that you're going to find offensively.

Remember when Baylor went into Allen Fieldhouse and was up by 20 at one point in that game earlier this season and then they totally unraveled? That's why they're really hard to trust and that's where I go back to who's going to win six consecutive games. You know, you're six wins away from a national championship but really there's a lot of teams that have just been so inconsistent this season that it's hard for me to pick against Alabama. If you ask me in the south, Alabama or the field, I'm taking Alabama.

I know it's the chalk answer but I got to tell it like it is. I don't trust any of these other teams. I guess if I had to put my faith in one, it's Azulis Tabelas and Omar Balo and Arizona because their size could give Alabama some issues but that's my regional final because I don't trust any of these other teams. Creighton, the six seed could be trusted one day but then they got blown out by Xavier in the Big East Tournament.

I don't know what to make of them. John Fanta, up until the Sasser injury we'll see how that's going to impact the tournament and what his status will be. I think everyone would have had Houston in the final four.

Some people still do. How does the uncertainty there affect how you think will play out in the midwest? Yeah, it affects it a lot because if they don't have Marcus Sasser this week with the groin injury and he's a game time decision for tomorrow against Northern Kentucky, I don't even think he should play. Houston's going to win that game.

They'll beat the Norse. Then you go to Iowa or Auburn. Both those teams are capable. I mean Auburn, the metrics really like them. And that's in Birmingham if it's Auburn.

Yeah, exactly. The game is in Birmingham. I actually am going to say this now to you. Auburn, don't look ahead. You know, don't look ahead. At the end of the day, Iowa's got Chris Murray. They've got an NBA draft prospect. They've got the McCaffrey brothers. They've got Peyton Sanford and Tony Perkins. They can score.

Auburn, don't get caught watching the paint dry. In the words of Shooter from Booziers. But I really think that it does affect that region. I mean, if Sasser is 50%, Houston's not coming out of the region. He is their most important player. He stirs the drink constantly and there are fitting candidates to take down Houston. Look no further than what Rodney, Terry and Texas have done. I think Texas is a team that could win it all because I think everybody and their mother counted them out when the Chris Beard saga happened. That team has used that to their advantage.

They have said, you know what? We are just going to keep forging on. We're going to bet on ourselves. And I really like Texas's draw in this NCAA tournament. You know, the three seed Xavier sack. They're not deep.

So I do think it impacts things. Do I still think Houston could make the final four? I do. And I want to lean there because they're just so tough. But man, the Auburn game in Birmingham, if it happens, don't run, don't run into Miami's guards. Trace Jackson Davis and Indiana are dangerous if they can get on a run. Although I have them on upset at Washington State, but it does impact things and it makes you say, whereas with Alabama, I'm locking them in. I don't know about that.

I would take the field in the Midwest. When we look at the West, I know it's tough for a team to repeat. So some people be leery of Kansas, UCLA, Jalen Clark injury.

He's out now that plays an impact. Gonzaga, some people until they cut down the nets are always skeptical of them. Who's your pick in the West?

I think Kansas is going to win the national championship. Wow. Repeat. I'm going contrarian. I've thought a lot about it. And I know it's contrarian being a one seat.

Someone's probably rolling their eyes, driving their car right now. I think a lot of people think that they will go down. And for me, you know, Jalen Wilson is one of the five best players in the country.

Brady Dick has been a top three or four freshmen in America. Their shot making is great. And I need to pick a team that I know when they need to hit shots, they could do that. And I know it sounds cliche or simple, but Zach, today's college game. We have some teams that are just dreadful on the offensive end of the floor at times.

I mean, that's, that's called faith and state that happens. It's why you're going to see upset because the little guy can win. If they get hot from three, you know, you watch that Mississippi state pick game last night. That game came down to a Blake Hinton hitting a three from the parking lot to basically put the game away. Mississippi state had a chance to win it, but Pitt hit the game defining three. Well, Kansas can do that all the time. They could do that all the time.

Now. I don't think they got a fair shape. I don't like their draw, but I think that again, they use that to their advantage.

Um, I UCLA missing Clark. It's hard for me to pick them to the final four. Although I think that they have a, a very simple draw with Northwestern or Boise state after Asheville to get to the second weekend in Zaga, you know, like sometimes it's one of those things where the scars of earlier in the season, it's hard for me to forget about those just because they went through the WCC.

I'm not buying the Zag. I'm just not, um, the four seed Yukon hard to figure out Connecticut should make the second weekend. I thought they got a friendly draw there. They're playing Iona. I know everybody's talking about Hurley versus Patino. Connecticut is more talented than Iona. They're bigger than Iona. They should win that game. And then St. Mary's or VCU, like that's very manageable to get to the second weekend.

So a Kansas Yukon game would be very interesting. And if there's a team that could emerge because of talent and depth, Connecticut could be that team, but I'm going with Kansas because I UCLA with their injuries, Gonzaga with not a very good defense and Kansas with 17 quad one wins 17 wins in the top quadrants. I think the Jay Hawks repeat and bill self gets into the Mount Rushmore category of all time coaches.

I literally have 20 seconds. Who's a double digit seed that gets to the sweet 16 Drake. I like Drake. I like Tucker debris.

They're old. They've got an upside. Miami's missing a North Seattle mirror.

I like the Bulldogs to make the second weekend. John Fanta will be talking to you throughout the tournament. You're the best. Thanks so much, Zach. Thank you.

There you go. John Fanta joining us March madness can officially get underway. Whenever talking to John Fanta, I could have talked to him for 20 more minutes about the NCAA tournament. No one gives a better comprehensive bracket breakdown or NCAA tournament breakdown than the great John Fanta. Alrighty, we'll take a breakdown. Ms. Johnson will join us next. Where the Cowboys going from here? Zeke no longer with the team.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-15 20:13:18 / 2023-03-15 20:31:04 / 18

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