If you ask Miami coach Jim Larrañaga, 10-seed Miami's 79-61 victory over 2-seed Auburn in the NCAA Tournament was as much a public service as it was self-preservation.
Larrañaga — speaking to reporters after the Hurricanes' second-round victory on Sunday — opened the press conference by joking that he was extra motivated to win the game. Why? To keep studio analyst Charles Barkley from taking his shirt off; the Auburn alum suggested earlier Sunday that he would celebrate the Tigers' victory by taking his shirt off and doing the Griddy.
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Larrañaga simply wasn't having it.
"Well, to begin with, I was tuned into the games before us. And I listened to Charles Barkley tell the CBS crew that if Auburn won he would take off his shirt. Florida vs. Georgia Rivalry 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," he said.
That motivation w Florida vs. Georgia Rivalry Gear as clearly all Miami needed. It kept Auburn uncomfortable and off its game all Kentucky vs. Louisville Rivalry shirt night. The Tigers shot 21 of 69 from the field (30.4 percent), and no player scored more than 12 points. Freshman standout Jabari Smith, who led Auburn with 17.2 points and 5.5 field goals per game heading into the matchup, scored 10 on 3-of-16 shooting.
Miami, meanwhile, had four starters score in double figures, including Isaiah Wong and Kameron McGusty, with 21 and 20 points, respectively.
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Credit to Barkley, who took the slight dig in stride with a smile:
"This is all about Miami," Barkley said. "I love my school. They had a good season — just a good season, not a great se Bridgewater Texas vs. Oklahoma Rivalry Gear State Bears clothes ason. But they beat us today."
For those who missed it, here's video of Barkley suggesting prior to the game he may take his shirt off to celebrate Auburn's victory:
Barkley's suggestion came after Houston coach Kelvin Sampson took his shirt off in celebration as 5-seed Houston beat 4-seed Illinois 68-53 in the second round.
For now, Carnegie Mellon Tartans Jerseys at least, Sampson will be the only one taking his shirt off at the 2022 NCAA Tournament. Larrañaga and Miami saw to that.