Charles Barkley Photo Credit: CBS Sports Photo Credit: CBS Sports

Charles Barkley flashed his trademark humor Friday night after his Auburn Tigers got upset in the NCAA Tournament, but he quickly turned serious to share a deeper message about sports.

The No. 13 Yale Bulldogs rallied to knock off No. 4 Auburn, 78-76. Later, on the March Madness: Road to the Final Four studio show, host Ernie Johnson brought up the game.

“We need to talk about what just happened with uh … one of our colleagues,” Johnson said.

“Oh we don’t have to talk about it,” said Barkley, a former All-American at Auburn.

“Oh, you know we’re going to, though,” Johnson said.

“OK,” Barkley said.

Barkley put on his serious face and praised Yale for its comeback from a big deficit.

“I’ve got to give Yale credit, they came back, we had a 10-point lead with seven minutes to go … these kids made some tough shots, tough shots,” he said.

“To lose in the first round, very disappointing and frustrating. … Shoutout to Yale, the Bulldogs. I never thought a Bulldog would beat a Tiger, but they did. Congratulations to Yale.”

“I know that one stings for you Chuckster, truly we’re all buddies here, and we know how you bleed that blue and orange of Auburn,” Johnson said.

“When you are a high seed and you’re expected (to win) and you don’t play well, that’s the thing about this tournament that never disappoints,” Barkley said. “Same thing with Florida (another upset loser Friday, to Colorado.)

“Nothing matters when this tournament starts. Let’s think about this, less than five days ago, (Auburn) was holding the SEC Championship, on top of the world, and all that hard work is over. That’s the painful thing about sports, and the great thing about sports. You do all that running during the summer, all those weights, and it’s a long season, and then it all comes down to March Madness. You get a great seed, and it’s over that quickly.”

Barkley said on a media conference call last week he couldn’t wait for the tournament to start, saying, “It’s amazing. Every year, something happens that you’re like ‘Wow, I’m glad I was a part of watching that.'”

The tournament is only a few days old and Barkley has already been busy making wisecracks and handing out life lessons. During Thursday’s show, after Johnson asked him if he’d copied Kenny Smith’s notes, Barkley joked, “You never cheat off of the dumbest kid in school. That’s a lesson for you. Look at the smart kids if you’re gonna cheat off their paper.”

[Photo Credit: CBS Sports]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.