(KCBS) – Guard Shabazz Napier led the Connecticut Huskies to the men’s NCAA Championship Monday night, beating Kentucky 60-54. Before a packed house and a national TV audience, Napier took the mic during the emotional post-game celebration.
“You knew he was coming up with something,” John Madden told the KCBS Radio morning crew. “He tried to get (everyone’s) attention. Usually they just get up there and yell into the mic, you know, greatest day in their life and all that stuff. (Instead he said) ‘Let me have your attention. Listen up, listen up a minute.’ Uh-oh, uh-oh, something’s going to come up here.”
Connecticut had been banned by the NCAA from last year’s tournament due to grade problems.
“You’re looking at the hungry Huskies,” Napier told the crowd. “Ladies and gentleman, this is what happens when you banned us.”
Madden said the audience for live post-game speeches is bigger than ever.
“Remember, back in the old days the interviews and the celebrations were in the locker rooms,” Madden said. “And then they started doing it on the field… So you not only have the excitement of the guys but you have the excitement of the crowd. People stay for those things now. Part of it is that and the excitement of it, and part of it is the crowd is still there cheering you on.” (7:05)