His emotions have been on public display every time Auburn takes the court, but TV partner Ernie Johnson tells PodcastOne Sports Now that everything you see with Charles Barkley — including his tears when Auburn made the Final Four — is as genuine as it gets.
Johnson told co-hosts Jim Litke and Tim Dahlberg that Barkley is proud of his school and proud of the players for advancing to Auburn's first Final Four ever.
"Sure it's not a Loyola Chicago story or anything like that but, look, Auburn's a football school," Johnson said. "Charles even said that on the air the other night when they were about to play North Carolina. So I think when you've seen a team that's been off the radar for a long time and then you've seen what Bruce Pearl has done with that team and then it is kind of a feel good story."
Johnson, who with Barkley has taken TNT's NBA studio show to the college ranks during the tournament, said he's as excited as Barkley about the Final Four because there were plenty of story lines that can be explored, not only with Auburn but also Michigan State, Texas Tech and Virginia.
"There's going to be bitter disappointment and tears on one side and there's gonna be a chance to cut down the nets in Minneapolis for one of these four," Johnson said. "And with fresh faces to talk about."
Litke and Dahlberg also talk to the AP's Barry Wilner about the new NFL rules on pass interference replays.