The larger-than-life Charles Barkley had a store in his honor at the Convention Center Fan Fest called the "Chuxedo Shop," filled with brightly colored suits.
But on Saturday, Barkley wore a tasteful light-colored suit. Lest you think he played things neutral on the air, though: Barkley had a stuffed tiger in honor of Auburn, and he constantly referred to "us" and "we" — getting teased by Ernie Johnson while fellow host Kenny Smith joked that "he's French!"
"I feel very good," Barkley said at halftime, as Auburn led 31-28 over Virginia. "We haven't made any threes, and that's a problem."
Auburn did hit six threes in the second half to fuel a comeback. But the game was decided on a Virginia three-point attempt.
Said @jjordan28 on Twitter: "I'd pay money for a 'Charles Barkley' Cam in the bottom of the screen watching his reactions to this game."
Maybe by the end that would have been just a little too painful.
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. firstname.lastname@example.org.