Screen Grab: CBS/TNT Sports

Charles Barkley’s devotion to sweet treats โ€” and Krispy Kreme โ€” is well documented, rivaled only by his passion for Auburn basketball.

During Sunday’s March Madness coverage on CBS/TNT, the crew dusted off their annual doughnut shop tradition for the Sweet Sixteen. While the legendary Krispy Kreme hot glazed might not have been the featured pastry this year, Barkley, true to form, couldn’t resist getting involved in a segment that, of course, revolved around everyone’s favorite deep-fried treat.

And somewhat unsurprisingly, it only took about 30 seconds for the segment to go sideways.

Clark Kellogg was supposed to choose between Houston and Texas A&M by pushing a doughnut representing each team toward a potential matchup with Duke. He could have also eaten the Texas A&M doughnut. However, Kellogg fumbled the task, claiming he couldn’t pick up the doughnut with the provided stick. This led to host Ernie Johnson stepping in, taking control of the situation, and discarding the Texas A&M pastry.

Johnson’s use of his bare hands to grab the doughnut was almost as bad as Grand Canyon’s ineffective performance in its second-round matchup against Alabama. Almost.

“Ernie, don’t put your nasty hands on it,” said Barkley. “What if somebody wanted to eat that?”

Johnson was in peril, looking like he had seen a ghost and searching for Kenny Smith for help. Unfortunately, Kellogg sided with Barkley on this and was incredulous that Johnson would do something as simple as picking up a doughnut with his bare hands.

“Ernie, man, you can’t be putting your fingers in these doughnuts,” said Kellogg.

“What would we want with that?” asked Barkley. “We don’t know where your hands have been.”

Smith pointed out the meager 122 doughnuts remaining, but Kellogg stubbornly insisted on the Texas A&M one. Logically, that would have been the only sensible one to eat for the segment to work. Unfortunately, Johnson’s intervention with his hands disqualified it.

Smith, appearing to be the only one on board with the segment’s premise besides Ernie, chose to eat the Alabama and Clemson doughnuts representing North Carolina and Arizona advancing to the Elite Eight. However, he was quickly shut down by Barkley.

“You can’t have two doughnuts, man,” Barkley said. “We got an obesity problem in this country.”

“We got one down in the Midwest bracket, I’ll tell you that,” added Johnson, pointing in Barkley’s general direction.

Johnson then picked up another doughnut with his bare hands and handed it to Smith. That was enough to set Barkley off again, leading Johnson to ask how he eats doughnuts.

“Well, I eat the one I’m gonna eat,” he said. “I don’t touch them all.”

“You’re the worst,” Johnson replied.

The segment was enjoyable for some but not for Johnson, whose hand cleanliness came into question. And for Barkley’s sake, let’s hope Johnson doesn’t touch the Auburn doughnut.

[Awful Announcing on Twitter/X]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.