After his team upset Auburn during the NCAA Tournament, Miami basketball coach Jim Larranaga credited watching Charles Barkley on CBS as the extra motivation his team needed. Not because of Barkley’s expert analysis, but because of Barkley’s bold pledge.
There was a lot on the line Sunday night as Miami matched up against Auburn. Not only was a bid to the Sweet 16 up grabs, but there was the potential for Barkley to rip his shirt off on national television.
After watching Kelvin Sampson’s shirtless escapade to celebrate Houston punching their ticket to the Sweet 16, Barkley said he might do the same during CBS’ March Madness coverage if his alma mater could beat Miami.
"If we win tonight I might take my shirt off. … Ima be Kelvin Sampson tonight." ?
— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) March 20, 2022
“If we win tonight, I might take my shirt off,” Barkley declared, drawing some oohs and aahs from his CBS co-hosts.
“Hold it, what did you just say?” host Ernie Johnson asked.
“I’m gonna be Kelvin Sampson tonight,” Barkley answered. “If Auburn wins…I might consider taking my shirt off.”
Apparently, that was all the motivation Larranaga’s squad needed to pull off the upset against Auburn, saving America from watching Barkley rip his shirt off.
“I listened to Charles Barkley tell the CBS crew that if Auburn won, he’d take off his shirt. And I thought to myself, no one wants to see that, Chuck.” – Jim Larrañaga ? pic.twitter.com/fgHqH85IKo
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 21, 2022
“I was tuned into the games before us,” Larranaga admitted to reporters after Miami’s win. “And I listened to Charles Barkley tell the CBS crew that if Auburn won he would take off his shirt. And I thought to myself, ‘Man, no one wants to see that, Chuck.’ So we did everything possible to make it possible that he wouldn’t have to do that.”
Miami dominated the Auburn Tigers 79-61 and will play 11-seed Iowa State in the next round of the NCAA Tournament.