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  1. I am absolutely stunned. Devastated I just don't know what to say. I remember back in the spring of 2009 when a colleague walked into my classroom to tell me that Harry Kalas, the voice of the Philadelphia Phillies, had passed away. This is a similar feeling for me now. There's not much I can add about RB that hasn't already been stated, so I won't even try...except these things. 1. He's one of only THREE radio guys that convinced me muting the regular broadcast to listen to his play-by-play was the way to go (Kalas, Don Fischer (Indiana) ) 2. His love of Auburn and EVERYTHING Auburn was always apparent, and made every game he did a pleasure to listen to. There are "homer" announcers, and then there are people like Rod Bramblett. It seemed like he lived to call Auburn baseball, basketball, and football. 3. I am so happy, in retrospect, that he got to be a part of some amazing AU football history. Not only for him, but for us. His voice will forever be linked to those special moments like the 2010 NCAA championship and those simply amazing finishes against UGA and Alabama in 2013. And basketball. Wow. He got to be a part of that magical ride that we have never seen before, and it certainly would not have been the same without him. How many of you clung to his calls down the stretch against UK? 4. 3-Time (if I recall correctly) Auburn broadcaster of the year. 2013 National Broadcaster of the year. Thank you, Rod. Well done, and War Eagle forever. They're not going to keep you and Paula out of those Pearly Gates tonight .....
  2. This is incredible. INCREDIBLE. 5-star kid. Final list includes UNC, Texas, Auburn. It almost reads like one of those old Sesame Street skits (or was it The Electric company? You kids of the 70s/80s know what I'm talking about!) with a jingle, "One of these things is not like the other. One of these things just doesn't belong." Except, going forward, Auburn DOES belong! Seriously, the day a bigtime recruit chooses Auburn and CBP over Kentucky or another "BlueBlood", that's a day we can definitively point to and say this is notch #3 in Auburn's ascent in the world of college basketball, with the first two notches being the hiring of CBP and this year's FF run.
  3. I'm sitting here at my desk, and it's 6:15 AM. Kids are back from Spring Break but do not start arriving until 7:30, so I have some time after preparing for the day. Like many of you I suspect, I avoided ALL sports outlets from 8PM Saturday night until, well, my drive into school this morning. Just too painful to rehash, and, quite frankly, it's still too raw for me. That blackout also included this forum. I just couldn't bear to read the thoughts and emotions that I undoubtedly shared with all of you so soon after the game. We actually have a protocol on the staff here in my building, and it's called "employ the 24-hour rule"...meaning that you let your emotions settle before dealing with or responding to an issue (usually a parent issue!). So, now that my 24 hours is up I'm ready. First off, wow. How do you put into words what we experienced in that game? UVA's game plan to challenge our offense out well past the 3-pt line was not a surprise, nor was the fact that their aggressive style of defense would be allowed to dictate the terms of the game. I saw that happen for YEARS with Bo Ryan and Wisconsin, and we've seen it from UVA since TB arrived. But that made the final foul call all-the-more puzzling and upsetting, to say the least. I was at a watch party here in Indianapolis and there were 20+ people in attendance. When we went down 57-47 we ALL switched was a mad rush to find a new spot and hope for a rally. And then 14-0 later AU is up 61-57 with 15 seconds left and we started to believe the unbelievable. After the shot was missed there were hugs. High fives. The entire bar was abuzz. Secondly, the emotional roller-coaster of that game was something I've only experienced on other time watching collegiate sports. Someone reached out a hand after Guy missed the shot and I simply looked at him and said, "They called a foul", and like the rest of the Auburn family I watched a chance at a National Championship disappear in three swishes of the net. I'm not going to stomp about the call, I just wish that in a situation like that where the shot was released and the contact had no bearing on the outcome, well, I just wish that official would have just let the outcome be what it was. He had the shot. He got it off. He missed it. If that contact was a foul (which it was) then there are about 25 more fouls that needed to be called throughout the entire game. In my opinion a game of this magnitude should NEVER EVER be decided in such a manner that talk of the officiating is dominant, and, well, here we are. It's a shame and those kids deserved better than that. Which leads me to my next point. I could not be prouder of what this team has accomplished and the manner in which they have conducted themselves along the way. And it starts from the top with CBP and trickles down through the 10th man off the bench. It was a joy to watch these kids complete with energy, enthusiasm, and heart throughout this season as they mirrored the energy, enthusiasm, and heart they got from their head coach. I'm pretty certain I saw Anfernee McLemore mouth the words "For Chuma" prior to hitting his two FTs to put Auburn up 61-57...that's the stuff that shows just what this team was all about. Like I said, they deserved a better outcome than they got on Saturday night, but in the face of such disappointment and emotion I know every one of those kids will be stronger in some way. CBP stated that they have to trust that there was a reason for all of this, including the outcome, and I have no doubt they will be be stronger in the long-term. Think about what had to transpire in the last 10 seconds for Auburn to lose that game and the odds are incredibly long that they would have lost. hat's an amazing testament to this team and the position they put themselves in. Finally, wow. I've stated here a few times that I'm an Indiana University grad that fell in love with Auburn in 1993 while visiting a friend there, and I have never looked back. I cheer for AU with every emotion that I would cheer for Indiana, and this loss is honestly one that I will never truly get over. Having said that ... I really believe this is one of the things a program has to experience on its rise. You cannot go from where Auburn Basketball has been to playing for a National Championship without any growing pains, and Saturday night was a significant growing pain. This is just one piece in building a program and a culture that cultivates and sustains a winning culture and mentality. I really really believe that this loss, as painful and gut-wrencging as it was, is one that we will point to later on as something that helped push the program to higher levels. My daughter will be on The Plains this fall as a freshman and I cannot wait to watch her be a part of the Auburn Family and experience some amazing sports programs during her time there. And as a middle school history teacher I will have kids coming up to me all day to talk about Auburn and what happened, and as tough as it will be to rehash it over-and-over I'll muster a smile. Why? Because so many kids in the Hoosier Heartland will be talking to me about AUBURN BASKETBALL! War Eagle everyone. And thanks to Bruce and the Boys for a magical ride that showed Auburn fans what it's like to play meaningful basketball games in APRIL!
  4. Thx for posting these interview links, as I was obviously watching the wrong damn shows today. Have been watching Finebaum since 4pm though!
  5. Only thing that would have made this better is having Bramblett's calls dubbed over the CBS feed. Which is exactly how I watched the 2nd half! Amazing how many times Harper absolutely burned past his primary defenders. What a joy he has been to watch.
  6. And it continues. Sitting here watching First Take (on Spring Break this week end enjoying time home with the kids!) and we are 40-minutes in to the show. 15 + minutes on Duke. 15 + minutes on LeBron and the Lakers. Nothing on Auburn's first ever Final Four, having beaten KU, UNC, UK in succession (never happened before), and sustaining a loss of one of its top players in the midst of it. NOTHING. But you know what, I love it. This is blatant disrespect and you know these kids and CBP are taking notice. It's more fuel for the fire. (and as I close the topic is now, "Are the Golden State Warriors Vulnerable")
  7. ESPN dedicated over 12 minutes to coverage of Duke losing. Word choice intentional, as they sure made it seem like they lost rather than MSU winning. Auburn's win over UK = 3 minutes.
  8. Hardly even a mention on ESPN's front page right now. I love it. Keep disrespecting and ignoring this group of kids.
  9. Yes. Auburn Tigers, 2019 NCAA Tournament 😎
  10. Kansas -- check North Carolina -- Check Kentucky -- CHECK Virginia -- Duke/MSU -- --To be updated soon--
  11. Kids, this is just amazing! Not gonna use the word "unbelievable", because that would insinuate we didn't think they could do it. It's just surreal, seeing AUburn headed to the Final Four. This has shades of Villanova 1985, and we all know how that ended up. War Damn Eagle, everyone!
  12. YES!!!! I knew it! We all knew it! WAR DAMN EAGLE!
  13. Welcome to March Madness, Auburn Fans! I'm an Indiana grad, but have been a die-hard AU fan even since my college days in Bloomington (long story). In fact, we (as a family) have been to The Plains as much as we have been to Bloomington over the last 15 years. AND...our oldest will be an incoming freshman at AU this fall! I've seen my share of glory days when it comes to IU tournament history, and have really enjoyed watching this Auburn team peak at the right time. I was comparing it to Indiana's magical run to the 1981 title over UNC...until Chuma went down. Now I'm sadly comparing it to Indiana's 1993 bad break. Sadly, we all know why Auburn could (and should) lose this game. The numbers don't lie, especially when you look at UK's length and the fact that they absolutely manhandled this team in Lexington WITH a healthy Chuma. But, here's why Auburn can (and will) win. 1. This team is DEEP. Too often teams like UK simply rely on individual skill to try to overpower opponents, and i truly believe waves of Orange & Blue can be the difference this time around. UK goes 7-8 deep. Auburn routinely went 10. 2. Purifoy and Wiley WILL step up, and McCormick's quickness will be a problem for UK. They will provide key minutes, rebounds, and a presence because ALL will see extended minutes this time around. I believe one of these kids will be a huge factor that UK didn't see coming. 3. Harper and Brown will go balls-to-the-wall for as long as CBP allow them to. I see them resting sparingly, and Harper WILL break out of his mini-slump today. 4. I don't care what Cal or any of the 'Cats say, there is NO WAY they think AU can beat them. No chance. Already beaten us twice at full-strength, and they think our BEST player is out. They will come out less than 100%, as UK teams always seem to do in these situations, and AU will jump on them early. 5. CBP. He coaches with every ounce of energy, enthusiasm, and spirit that Cal does NOT. In a game like this, in a situation like this, you never know when a kid looking over at the sideline late in a tight match gets that extra push from a guy like that. It is so difficult to beat a team three times in one season, and I truly believe that UK will go through the motions for a bit today, assuming it's a foregone conclusion. If Auburn can jump on them early and get the Cats down, and off of their game plan, a win is there for the taking. The key, if they are down, is to be within 5 points in the last 5 minutes. UK will tighten up, and it'll be a sprint to the finish. I watched an Indiana team that had no chance at beating UNLV in 1987 beat UNLV in 1987. I watched an Indiana team that had no chance at beating Duke in 2002 beat Duke in 2002. We will all watch an Auburn team that has no chance at beating UK in 2019 beat UK in 2019! War Eagle everyone, and I look forward to the Final Four thread!
  14. What a range of emotions. I am absolutely stunned, elated, thrilled, by this latest chapter in the journey that has been the 2018-19 season. We have seen some amazing things from this team, and the highs-and-lows have been extreme. This game, itself, illustrated all of that. How awful is it that, arguably the biggest victory in AU basketball in the last 20 years has to be tarnished by what happened with Chuma. But I also saw things that make me believe that if any team could get over this and be just as dangerous, it's this group of Tigers. 1. These kids are mentally tough. They did not let the emotion of that play deflate them...kept their focus and extended the lead. 2. The way CBP runs the bench 9-10 deep we have the bodies that have the big-game experience. 3. Emotion can take you a long way. You feed off of it and some crazy things can happen in a short span of games. And last time I checked it's a 3-game sprint to the end now. Finally, we have Bruce Pearl. He's fiery. He's emotional. He's animated. And he's our coach. And I'm convinced these kids would jump off of a bridge for him. He just needs to get them to jump over three really, really BIG hurdles. They throttled Tennessee twice in 10 days. They blitzed Kansas, and nearly put 100 on UNC. Call me crazy, but I think he can get them to do just that.
  15. Told my youngest that Auburn would have to be damn-near perfect because they were not going to get anything from the officials tonight. 5-20 from 3 pt-range, just three FTs to UNC's 12, yet they boys are up 41-39. Damn impressive. Wasted trips down the floor with the lead are magnified in a game like this, so hopefully they can take advantage of those opportunities to extend the lead when presented with them. As an aside, I also told him that White for UNC was going to throw up a ton of "trash" ... and he's been true-to-form. I've never been impressed with what I've seen of him, and I think he's hurt UNC more than he's helped them thus far. Hope that continues!