It’s no secret that Charles Barkley has been pulling for Auburn throughout the NCAA tournament.
Barkley played at Auburn from 1981-1984 before his lengthy NBA career, and was named the SEC Player of the Year during the 1983-84 season. After a history like that, it would be strange if he wasn’t openly rooting for his alma mater.
So, naturally, Barkley was extremely animated throughout the crazy ending of Virginia’s 63-62 win against the Tigers in the Final Four on Saturday night in Minneapolis.
Virginia rallied back in the final seconds at U.S. Bank Stadium, thanks to a huge 3-pointer and then three free throws from guard Kyle Guy with just 0.6 seconds left in the game to seal the one-point win.
Barkley was standing behind the basket when Guy hit the corner 3-pointer, and seemed like he was in a state of shock when it fell — turning around into a robot-like move with his arms frozen out to the side.
Barkley then looked extremely confused during the final play — like most of the arena — initially thinking that the Tigers had won when the buzzer sounded. Yet after raising his arms to celebrate, Barkley froze, realizing that the foul was called.
Despite the loss, Barkley still opened up the postgame show on CBS agreeing with the foul call in the final sequence and seemed to handle the defeat extremely well. While he admitted that he wanted to “cry right now” during the broadcast, he insisted that he didn’t want to take anything away from Virginia’s win.
“Well I want to say this. It might have been a good call,” Barkley said to start the show, still surrounded by his stuffed tiger, Auburn flag and pom-poms. “You can’t put yourself in that situation. Great kid from Virginia, great courage to make all three of those free throws. But I think it was a foul … It’s just a tough loss man. That hurts.”
More from Yahoo Sports: