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NCAA All Access: Final Four Today

Aired April 6, 2013 - 15:00   ET


RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN ANCHOR: You are looking live at downtown Atlanta, scene of the NCAA men's Final Four and even though the games are still a few hours away, the party definitely already started. There is a crowd on every corner here, and the teams are where you go.

REGGIE MILLER, NBA PLAYER: Well, in just three short hours, the Wichita state shockers will play the Louisville cardinals over at the Georgia dome. After that it is the Syracuse orange against the Michigan Wolverines.

Rach, it will be an unbelievable Final Four at the dome.

NICHOLS: It already started, man. Welcome to our Atlanta studios, CNN's all access to the Final Four. I am Rachel Nichols joined by Reggie I Miller, basketball hall of famer, broadcaster, movie connoisseur -- you don't look happy, Reggie.

MILLER: I am upset. John would be rolling over in his grave right now. I am telling you --

NICHOLS: Are you leaving the show?

MILLER: Counted 11 national basketball championships and you put UCLA back here in the back? No. No one puts UCLA in the corner. No one. Arizona? Steve Kurt, are you serious? I have never lost to Arizona. This is where we are going to take our rightful spot right here. Now it is time to start the show, Rach. Let's go.

NICHOLS: Thank you for that Patrick Swayze moment. Nice. Although. It is a lot of bragging about UCLA for a guy who never took UCLA to a Final Four. In fact, I believe, look, Reggie Miller here, I believe won one game in the NCAA tournament.

MILLER: No. Why are we going to go there?

NICHOLS: Well, we are supposed to be establishing your credentials and all I see are short shorts.

MILLER: That's what is established in this piece, right. Look how short. John Stockton right now should be thought that my shorts are shorter than his.

NICHOLS: I think you got smoked in this game, right? Who is that?

MILLER: Please don't bring up his name. Finis. I cannot get the game out of my head.

NICHOLS: Scored 31 points against you.

MILLER: And a shot in the league, too, until they found out he could play.

NICHOLS: Probably after game. It is nice. But look at that, Reggie Miller, so young. So pretty.

MILLER: I think I was 6'5" and probably 135 pounds right there, soaking wet.

NICHOLS: And going to wear that outfit tonight, right, after the show?


NICHOLS: Yes. In that outfit, you are going to get a lot of action, a lot of takers. You have been in this tournament before and I will actually give you a little love. You did win an IT tournament as well. But, you have been in this tournament before. Tell me what some of these kids are feeling right now.

MILLER: Look. The bus riding over to the dome, obviously for the seniors this could be your last time at greatness, so it is a one and done situation. That's when it gets ramped up.

NICHOLS: Excellent. And you know, there is a kid that will be sitting there today in that locker room getting ready, but not to play. He is going to be sitting on the bench in crutches, Kevin Ware, just gruesome how he went down last weekend. His bone sticking out of his leg. So horrific to watch. We are not even going to show it to you right now.

But, in the past few days I have had the chance to talk to both Louisville coach Rick Pitino and Kevin Ware about what happened and what happens next.


NICHOLS: Did you realize that was your bone sticking out of your leg?

KEVIN WARE, LOUISVILLE CARDINAL PLAYER: I did, but my first instinct was like I can't start crying. I can't do this right now. I am yelling. As soon as Luke got done with the prayer, I was telling them you got to win this game. I don't care what you do, we got to win this game. I will be good. I will be OK. I will be fine, and the coach P heard me and started calling the guys over there. They kind of got it together. They made me proud. They beat duke by 22, you know, and we still got another goal to accomplish. We have to win the national championship.

NICHOLS: Now, going into the Final Four what effect has Kevin's injury had on your whole team? RICK PITINO, LOUISVILLE CARDINAL COACH: The negative effect is we have no back court substitutes. That's the negative thing. The positive thing to our guys is they saw how much they love each other and that's great. They sort of knew it and now they felt that emotion and have it for each other.


MILLER: And Rachel, the twitter verse went crazy after this injury and this play. Here is King James, my prayers go out to Kevin Ware and his family. May you have a speedy recovery, kid, and come back even stronger.

NICHOLS: Isn't just king James. It was Kobe Bryant called him. Michelle Obama called him. And I want you to look at this photo of him. This is just sort of after he had had his surgery and trying to get up and walk around. He is so drugged up at this point and he told me he did not even remember the first lady calling him. So, he was so cute about it. He was like call me back, first lady, please call me back.

MILLER: It is amazing. Even on the crutches, I mean, when you saw the injury live obviously and now you see it bandaged up, it is amazing he is getting around pretty good on the crutches as well.

NICHOLS: There. Well, maybe if Louisville can win this tournament, then, he will go to the White House for real and that will make him very happy. I mean, do you think --?

MILLER: A little bit more clarity.

NICHOLS: Yes. Do you think that his injury is going to affect Louisville's negatively, positively, what do you think it will be like to have him on the bench?

MILLER: One of two things is going to happen. Win one for the gipper (ph). These guys will rally around the injury. They want to do this for Kevin Ware or when they are out there playing against the underdog which you toss a Shockers, it could affect them they don't have the play of ware out there and could be upset.

NICHOLS: Win-win for the gipper, of course, would require Kevin Ware to know who the gipper is. Earlier this week someone had to explain it to him. But hey, He is young. Children out there.


NICHOLS: Excellent.

All right. We will be watching to see how Louisville reacts today. But of course, we are watching a lot more than the games.

The Final Four has turned into something so much bigger than just the culmination of a basketball tournament. And we have reporters stationed all over downtown Atlanta to capture the madness.

First up, Nischelle Turner live at Centennial Park. How are you doing out there?


You know, Rachel, when teams find out they are going to the NCAA tournament, they call it going dancing. So, you can have a dance without great music. That's why you guys can stay in the studio. I am here at Centennial Park in Atlanta with the people for the big dance concert series. And when I say the people, I mean tens of thousands of people. This place is packed and that is because we are talking about three days of some of the biggest names in music. And when I say the biggest names in music, I mean people like Sting, Dave Matthews' band, McLamore and Ryan Lewis, Zac Brown band, Flo Rida, Ludacris, who is about ready to take the stage any time now. And the best thing about this big dance concert series, it is all free. Yes, I will spell it for you. F-R-double E.

Now, Carlos Diaz, as I send it over to you, I know are you a big Ludacris fan. So, I will give you a shot for you. But, I have to admit, I had a blunder, Carlos. Apparently I have been adopted by the Syracuse family because I have on Syracuse orange today and it was not by design, I will admit. I was just having a girl moment and I was trying to find the prettiest color for TV -- Carlos.

CARLOS DIAZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And Nischelle, I appreciate that. But, I have something going on over here that I am kind of afraid of here. I thought I would be over here with rowdy fan from the likes of Syracuse, Michigan and Louisville, but it seems I have stumbled upon a little west side story. Is this the cards against the shockers or the sharks against the jets? These people are freaking me out. I don't know what's going on here. But, it is getting kind of crazy.

Joe, what do you have at the Georgia dome? Please help me out, my friend.

JOE CARTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, always entertaining, Carlos Diaz. Well, the glass stand.

Yes, I'm love out front of the Georgia dome. The excitement, of course, outside building as well around the stadium. We are just a few hours away from tip time. It is game day, people, and obviously the activity online very exciting. It is powers in numbers if you look at that graphic there over 11 million comments about this tournament to date, the most popular hash tag, March Madness. Most discussed game, duke-Louisville. Got to be because of Kevin Ware.

We are taking your tweets throughout the show. Send them in. We will show them. We will talk about them. And you can also, you know, if you want tweet Reggie Miller. He isn't got in nothing to do the next hour.

Reg, I love the twitter pic you put up in February of Chris Weber celebrating his 40th birthday with the Walker and the cake. Awesome. Made me feel old though. But, it was an awesome picture.

MILLER: I appreciate it, Joe. Father time catches up to us all. All right, let's break down the schedule for tonight. First up we have Wichita state and the aforementioned Louisville cardinals followed by the Syracuse Orange and the wooden award winner Trey Burke and the Michigan wolverines all on CBS.

NICHOLS: It is going to be a good night and we're joined by the coach of Pitts, Jamie Dixon. Thank you so much for being with us today.

Great to be here.

NICHOLS: Excellent. And Jamie, I want to talk to you a little bit just about these moments. I mean, it is incredible for everyone in this tournament and especially though for the Louisville team with the way they are dealing with Kevin Ware. You have played them. Have you also played Wichita state. You have also played all of the times, Michigan, Syracuse, in the Final Four.

With Wichita state, that loss was so emotional for everybody and I want to show what you were dealing with afterwards. Can you show trey just pouring his heart out?


TRAY WOODALL, PITTSBURG SENIOR GUARD: I mean, it's a bitter taste in my mouth and my career and one of the worst games I ever played in the history of playing here. I am sorry. Sorry I let my team down. One of the worst games I ever played.


MILLER: Now, coach, I have been that player and I have been in that seat. As a coach, how do you approach Tray like that?

JAMIE DIXON, PITTSBURG COACH: You know, I felt helpless because I was across the table and you don't know what quite what you can do, and you just know that all of the emotions, it is his senior year. He is our point guard. He is our leader. And he just felt like as he said there, he let his teammates down and all of those emotions, my career is over, letting the fans down, the team down, that was what he was saying.

But, he gave us a great five years. He red shirted one year, played through a lot of injuries and did a lot of great things for us. So, you know, we went right after him, reached for him and thanked him for everything he did.

But every kid, this is their dream to come and they want to play. Every team that comes into this tournament, all 68, they all think they're going to win the whole thing. When the end comes, that loss, it is a shock, it is disappointment, and there is regret, too, at the same time.

MILLER: Now, that clip was taken from the Wichita state game. They played Louisville tonight. You played both of them. Can you give us an early scouting report? DIXON: Well, again, Louisville is the team I picked from the start. I think they are the team that have the most experience. I think they have also got a mission. They are on a mission because, you know, they have the Final Four last year and you can kind of sense that. Getting to the Final Four is not enough with this group and they have made that real clear and I think they have done that from the start of the season.

MILLER: This team is good. They're very good.

DIXON: And Baker is key. I think he is the guy under rated guy and he was hurt through the conference, the conference schedule and back now and he was the guy that gave them something when we played him. So, he is not averaging big numbers, but he makes them a better player.

NICHOLS: And Coach, I also want to ask you about the big issue in college basketball right now is what's going on at Rutgers, situation with former coach with Mike Rice who was fired and then the athletic director resigns. And we have also seen this video by now abusing his players, pushing his players, the physical abuse, the verbal assault on these kids, and you have an interesting perspective because Mike Rice was actually an assistant for you briefly at Pitt and you know him personally. What's your reaction to this?

DIXON: Very shocked obviously, just surprised. He was a good assistant, and just don't know where it came from. To say this isn't college basketball, but he is a good person. And I think, you know, I think this is something that we can all look at and know that this is not college basketball. But again, we're going to see it over and over again, but there is a lot of great things in college basketball.

MILLER: Coach, are you a little surprised the players didn't go latrel (ph) free-wellish a little bit.

DIXON: Again, I don't know how they all acted or talked about it. But, it seems as a lot of players have come out and said -- haven't said too much about it, so it is somewhat surprising. There is no question about it. But again, it is -- I don't think it is again not something that you see much at all in college basketball.

NICHOLS: And it is a shame too because we see so many coaches doing it the right way instead who are able to motivate these players and we saw it during the NCAA tournament, these coach's speeches in the locker room, having fun with the guys, the positive sides of the relationship is so great and this is an all access show so we want to take you behind the scenes in the locker room. This is in the Miami locker room with Coach Jim Larranaga.


JIM LARRANAGA, MIAMI HURRICANE'S COACH: It is about the game you love. This is basketball. You have to play basketball today. When they have the basketball, they look, hands high, contest the shot without bounce, right? You understand that? And when the shot goes up, what are you going to do? You're going to block out, you rebound with two hands. Ball on the court, you rebound with two hands. Do you understand?



NICHOLS: Like doing the worm down there and all the guys go on.

MILLER: Come on, coach. Come on.

DIXON: We have done a few things. I wouldn't have the cameras in there to do it. But, he has a knack for TV, I guess. But, Coach Larranaga is a great coach and what he did with that team this year is unbelievable. Seniors, I mean again, this tournament will come down to seniors. I think at the end of the day in the Final Four games, but those seniors, experienced guys.

MILLER: A little robot for you or something? Come on.

DIXON: Is that what that is?

MILLER: I don't know what it is. It is bad, whatever it is.

NICHOLS: That is not what that is. OK. Quick. You said your pick is Louisville. Are you sticking with that?

DIXON: Yes, Louisville for the first game and if we're talking second game Syracuse as well. I go with the big east, ACC teams as we go forward here.

NICHOLS: It would be a nice way to say goodbye to the old big east. Very nice.

Well, thank you, coach, for your time. We certainly appreciate it.

DIXON: Thank you.

NICHOLS: And now we are going to turn to you, the viewers because we need your help. We are supposed to come out of the show with predictions. So tweet us at #who is going to win it all this year.

And Reggie, you are going to responsible?

MILLER: Yes. I have our pick and I think it will be -- I am going to wait. Next segment.

DIXON: Drama.


NICHOLS: You guys are teases.

MILLER: Build it up.

NICHOLS: I will get this out of there. That's all I got to say. All right, let's go to break with a little more all access with Miami.

Mister Larranaga, take us out.


LARRANAGA: I asked you guys to be fighters. You know what I saw out there? Muhammad Ali. Yes.




NICHOLS: Look at that, Steve Kerr. He is going to get mad at you. He saw this.

MILLER: Do you think I care what Steve Kerr is thinking right now?

NICHOLS: Look at the hair.

MILLER: Well, first of all, look at that hair. He should be ashamed of that hair.

NICHOLS: He could get you with that hair.

MILLER: Justin Bieber looking like.

NICHOLS: Come on.

MILLER: Come on.

NICHOLS: That's sad. That a sitting on the floor.

MILLER: Pretty girl we showed there. Pretty girl.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Texas Western 72-65 victory against Kentucky in the 1966 national championship game. It was a win for the school as well as the civil rights movement as all five starters for Texas western were African-American, a first in an NCAA championship game.

Highlights of the game included Bobby Joe Hill stealing the ball from both Louie Dampier and Tommy Croon (ph) within the span of a minute and converting both steals into easy layups for Minors.

Texas Western coach Don Haskins matched wits with the legendary Adolf Rupp and prevailed.


CARTER: That was certainly a great moment in sports history, a turning point for college basketball.

Welcome back to CNN's all access at the Final Four. I am Joe Carter outside the Georgia dome.

Texas Western won the game in 1966 but it was Kentucky coming into the game as the heavy favorite and came up short. So, we got to thinking and we put together a list. has it going, the best teams to never win the tournament.

You have teams like the '91 running revs, '93 Michigan, the fab five, the bald heads, the baggy shorts, back-to-back Final Fours as a matter of fact, they didn't win. My favorite on the list has to be by slammer jammer (ph), 1983 Houston Cougars upset by Jimmy D. (ph) NC State. The air ball claimed the pass, loved the celebration from Jimmy D. (ph).

Join the conversation on twitter by using the #bestwhoeverwon.

Rach and Reg, a lot of great teams that came up short. What do you think about the list?

NICHOLS: Reggie, any favorite there is or just ask Carlos about his personal school's success in the NCAA tournament?

MILLER: Joe, I would love to ask where does Colorado state fall into that. I didn't see anything on bleacher about Colorado State, my friend.

CARTER: Yes. No comment, Reg. No comment. If we were football, maybe. For basketball, no comment.

MILLER: OK. Just wanted to make sure.

NICHOLS: Reggie, you still throwing the UCLA banner out here?

MILLER: I am. Look. I don't want to be a homer here, OK, about UCLA. But, when you think of the tournament, you think of the four letters UCLA. Right?

NICHOLS: One tournament win for Reggie Miller?

MILLER: It is OK. It is all right.

NICHOLS: All right, what about this year? Who you got for winning this year because UCLA not in the Final Four?

MILLER: They're not. But, I am going to jump on what coach Dixon was talking about. Louisville is the overall number one for a reason. And now that they really have something to play for in the Kevin Ware injury, I think this is a chance for Rick Pitino to get a second national championship. We are going with the cardinals.

NICHOLS: I am jumping on board with your prediction. I told you, I'm just going to go with whatever you say. But, I have to correct you, it is not Louisville.

MILLER: Louisville.

NICHOLS: Louisville.

MILLER: Louisville. L cardinals, what are we going with?

NICHOLS: My mother-in-law is from Louisville and will be upset if she heard you say Louie-ville.

MILLER: Louisville.

NICHOLS: Yes, Louisville.

I am betting that Nischelle knows how to pronounce it. So, we will move on from Reggie's prediction and then we will hear some other predictions. Everybody has a school they root for, right? At least a bracket they're rooting for something, and, Nischelle still at Centennial Park. And who did you find out there with their predictions?

TURNER: You know, we have found a lot of people out here, Rachel. By the way, Luda is on stage right and he has the crowd rocking. There are so many people out here in Centennial Park for the big day of concert series.

Buy, you asked who I ran into. Last night one of the people I ran into was the Zac Brown band. You know, they took the stage here last night as well, and they had this place on fire. But, I sat down with the band to talk a little bit before they went on stage and we talked about a lot of things. And I found out some pretty interesting things about these guys. Not only do they make good music, they make good food.

Yes, the Zach Brown band a bunch of food is. Zac himself is a personal chef. So, we had to get into some of our favorites and I love to eat myself. Here is what these guys had to say. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am narcoleptic so if I, and I am, I but sugar, like I am hypo glycemic. So, if I eat sugar, I will fall over.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is amazing to see. He is like playing guitar and all of a sudden --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is bad. I go to the movies with my girls, my little girls and we sit and I will eat recess pieces, eat my popcorn in some alley like a third of the box and I will be like, I will be drooling in my popcorn, you know. Yes. But, if I had my choice, probably be a hundred grand.





TURNER: Those boys love to eat. And I have to say I am a Reese's girl myself.

We also talked a little Final Four. We get their picks who they thought would win and by consensus from the Zac Brown band, they think the Louisville cardinals, and yes I said Louisville will win this tournament.

But the question, is it Louisville, is it Louisville? You guys are already having a debate and I continue the debate with the guys from my morning jacket who are from Louisville. Yes, I will say it again. But, how they pronounce it may surprise you. Take a look.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I said Louisville.

TURNER: Louisville. Tomato, tomato.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Louisville is the official pronunciation.

TURNER: Wait a minute. I have a problem with this because all of the years I lives in Lexington, Kentucky, I was told point blank it is not Louie-Ville.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are wrong.

TURNER: I need to get the consensus from the rest of the group.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I am from Cleveland and I say Louisville.

TURNER: See? Smart guy. Cleveland rocks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But, you're from Indianapolis. What do you say?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have been saying Louisville.

TURNER: Thank you again, Indianapolis.



TURNER: Three.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Louie-Ville it is.


TURNER: All right. Rachel and Reggie, you guys have to finish this debate. And I am going to take whatever you guys decide. I am going to start pronouncing it that way from now on. What do you think?

NICHOLS: Nischelle, you are right. Do not let anybody tell you otherwise. Louisville, right? Come on.

MILLER: Louisville.

MILLER: I am with Zac Brown. Lou-a-ville, wrong.

NICHOLS: Come on.

MILLER: Louisville.

NICHOLS: Come on.


NICHOLS: You can do it, Louisville.

MILLER: I am with Zac Brown. There is three that get it to the dome.


NICHOLS: Louisville.

MILLER: Louisville.

NICHOLS: There you go. Come on. What else you got here, Reg? Come on.

MILLER: All right. Well, we have one last celebrity to hear from, the commander in chief. So, it is time for our first draw. Let's check in with Jake Tapper in Washington, D.C.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Rachel and Reggie, President Obama has defeated many a tough political opponent over the course of his career. But, when it came to this year's March Madness picks, he proved himself no match for Cinderella.

Let's go for the president's brackets. It was round one when the president really first learned an important political lesson. Never ignore Florida. It was Florida Gulf Coast University and their astounding upsets starting with one over Georgetown that were early tourney upsets that left President Obama's bracket at that point in the 30th percentile. He wasn't just getting beat by most of the country, he was getting beat by his oval office mini me. Hit it president.

But, the commander in chief took charge in round to. He correctly picked all four regional semifinalists in the East and three out of the four in the Midwest and south making the sweet 16 which did not exactly sour the president's bracket.

Well, he forecast five out of eight winners in the round. But, it wasn't until last weekend that the president's bracket officially hopped a one-way train to bust-it-Ville. Only one of President Obama's projected winners made it to the Final Four. Of course, I am referring to Louisville, the cardinals. And that's not the team he tapped for the title win. He tapped, of course, Indiana, but to go all the way he thought the Hoosiers would be hoisting the trophy following the national championship in Atlanta.

I should mention for full disclosure sake President Obama did much, much better than I did. My brackets are horrendous and I didn't pick anybody who is in anything. This is really very embarrassing.

Back to you.

NICHOLS: Well, it is good to know that Jake Tapper is not going to take my job at CNN any time soon.

MILLER: Well, it is good to know that whoever did the president's bracket is probably going to be walking bow the dog now.

NICHOLS: Yes. Because it is not really going to be a good job anymore. This was not a good year for him. He normally does better than this.

MILLER: Well, for a lot of people too.

NICHOLS: That's true. Bracket busted.

All right, Luda on stage right now. We will bring you back there. More to come from downtown Atlanta.

Up next, we have not only a little bit more from Centennial Park. We have a really, really, really big bracket, Carlos Diaz has it over at CNN center. We will get into tweets at CNN and the all access at the Final Four continues.

Here is a little all access with Wichita state head coach Greg Marshall.


GREG MARSHALL, WICHITA'S COACH: All right. Number one in the country, number one seed, what does that mean? What does that mean to you? What number are we? Huh? You cannot make people respect you. You cannot make people respect you. All right? But, you can certainly not allow them to disrespect you. OK? Let's go make that happen. Let's go. 1-2-3.




REGGIE MILLER, NBA PLAYER: Rachel, all the tweets are starting to come in. My man Amar'e Stoudemire, good luck to Louisville tonight.

RACHEL NICHOLS, CNN ANCHOR: Amar'e actually donated some Win for Wear wear.

MILLER: Look at my boy on stage. Louisville! When you move, I move.

NICHOLS: Just like that. It is good.

MILLER: When I move, you move.

NICHOLS: Just like that.

MILLER: When I move, you move.

NICHOLS: Just like that. It's good. We don't need to be you. You should be out there singing.

MILLER: After him, the band Muse has come up on stage.

NICHOLS: Excellent.

MILLER: And from what I understand, Carlos Diaz is a huge Muse fan. Am I right about that, Carlos?

CARLOS DIAZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I am a huge fan of two things. I'm a huge fan of college basketball and of Reggie Miller. Those two things I basically live for. And Reggie, as you know, we get paid to prognosticate, and my bracket has been busted. I don't know what I am talking about. So, why don't we go to the fans and find out what they think about tonight's games? Let's start with the Louisville Cardinals.

Louisville, c'mon people! What do you have to say?


DIAZ: Why do you think that Louisville is going to win the national championship?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because we're a family, and it has been a long 27 years and we're going to bring it home to Louisville for Kevin and for the city.

DIAZ: What do you guys say? Is that good? We have heard from Louisville. Now let's hear it from Wichita State, who will be playing Louisville in a matter of hours. We have -- what is your name again, sir?

BRIAN: Brian.

DIAZ: Brian. Okay. Brian, and by the way, I love this, who's your daddy? Very nice. Very nice, OK. Brian, why are -- why is Wichita State -- what's a shocker first off?

BRIAN: A shocker is someone that harvests wheat. DIAZ: OK, I know this now. How are you going to shock Louisville and shock the nation tonight?

BRIAN: Greg Marshall has our team playing angry now. We're ready to make Shocker history and bring home a championship. And if I am a Louisville fan right now, I am scared. Because you don't want to go to war with the Shockers.

DIAZ: Wow. That's talking some smack right there! There we go. All right, over to Syracuse very quickly here.


DIAZ: A true fan if I have ever seen one. Steve, why do you think Syracuse will take on the championship?

STEVE: Well, let's see. We have the two-three zone that the Wolverines have no idea what they're going to do with. We're number one. Never lost in a Final Four. And didn't they lose to Indiana?

DIAZ: Oh, yeah. You did beat my Indiana Hoosiers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Who smoked Indiana?

DIAZ: You guys did, yes.

STEVE: Exactly.

DIAZ: Appreciate that. Thanks for that. Suddenly, I don't like the orange all of a sudden, Reggie. And last but not least, we have the Michigan Wolverines. Mark, why is Michigan going to take this home?

MARK: Well, besides having the national player of the year -- forget the Fab Five, we now have the Fresh Five.

DIAZ: Love it.

MARK: Robinson III, Hardaway Junior, McGary. Do I need to say any more?

DIAZ: Speak it.

MARK: Go Blue!


DIAZ: Aww, there we go. All right, so we heard from the experts here. Guys, bring it in! Bring it in! Here we go. Let's go. Back to you guys.

NICHOLS: We do love how Carlos throws himself into his work and he was even able to interview Super Mario there in the Michigan outfit. So, what was nice as well.

MILLER: Well, we got four different perspectives now. Now I am kind of questioning our picks.

NICHOLS: Do not back off our picks. Do you like how I just took his pick? All right, there will be a lot more to come on CNN's all access at the Final Four, including behind the scenes with all four coaches? Reggie, can we do a little (INAUDIBLE) flashback here on the way out? You called a bunch of the Florida Gulf Coast games. Do you miss them at all?

MILLER: Oh, I loved -- look, we were right in the middle of the first two games with the Eagles of Florida Gulf Coast. It was so exciting. These guys, we said, act like you have been there before and they had never been there before. And it kinda showed.

NICHOLS: Dunk City, go Dunk City, yeah!


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Florida Gulf Coast!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are rock stars.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These guys are for real.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rounding up and straight to the top.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Welcome to your Kodak moment, my friend.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Florida Coast Dunk City!



NICHOLS: Well, the reality is that by the end of the night here in Atlanta, there are going to be some players crying and at least two of the coaches here trying to console them. Not yet, though. We have some special access to all four of the coaches here in Atlanta. And right now, we'll let you sit in on our conversations as they prepare for some of the biggest games of their lives, hoping not to be the ones shedding tears tonight.


NICHOLS: You're here in the Final Four. But you almost didn't get here.

Trey Burke hits that big shot. Everyone is going crazy except for you when you look at the video. You're just calmly clapping. What was going on inside your head as you are so cool to the outside world?

JOHN BEILEIN, MICHIGAN HEAD BASKETBALL COACH: Well, I am thinking of the next move right now when he hits the shot, even when we win the game, there was a shot at the buzzer. It is, you know, when you coached as long as I have, well over 1,000 games now, there is games you thought you won and you lost. And there are games you thought were lost, and you won. So, you're always thinking I don't want to go out of that mode of what's next?

So that's one we did win, when we did get to the Final Four and beat Florida. I didn't know what to do. I was sort of congratulate, where's my wife? But I didn't know what to do and I was thinking again, what's next? Syracuse. Oh, that's what's next.

NICHOLS: You face Michigan on Saturday. (INAUDIBLE) for quite some time. In fact, he credits you for a large role in his coaching progression.

JIM BOEHEIM, SYRACUSE HEAD BASKETBALL COACH: I don't know about that. He is tremendous coach, and a couple times that I could recommend him, I did. But sometimes the athletic directors can't figure out who they should hire and have to help them a little bit. But John was the right guy and he has been the right guy every place he has been because he knows what he is doing.

When you win every place, you're good. I am not sure I am that good. I only won one place. But John has won every place and he is a tremendous coach. And they're probably the best offensive team in the tournament at this point. Their guys have really gotten better and the perimeter guys have been great all year. So, it is a tremendous challenge for us.

NICHOLS: People keep saying how close are they? How close are they to finally as you say actually winning? Can you win it this year?

GREGG MARSHALL, WITCHITA STATE HEAD BASKETBALL COACH: Without a doubt. We don't have to play a perfect game. Louisville is an outstanding team, well coached, great athletes, tremendous on both ends of the floor. But we don't have to play the perfect game. Just a really good game. It is not a seven-game series. I am sure they would probably beat us in a seven-games series. It is 40 minutes. Anything can happen in that 40 minutes.

NICHOLS: Took 21 years to avenge Christian Laettner, but you did it. How is that feeling?

RICK PITINO, LOUISVILLE HEAD BASKETBALL COACH: You know, I never mentioned it to the team - to one team. And I said, listen, guys, 20 some-odd years ago and I have been watching that shot. I want to put this Christian Laettner guy to bed. And I said this is the same moment, the elite eight, and for me personally, I need to put him to sleep. We all laughed right before the game. I said that and afterwards they said good night, Christian, that's it.

NICHOLS: Now you feel as you lay dying you will not see that shot flash before your eyes?

PITINO: I can die in peace.


MILLER: Well, I am finally glad - NICHOLS: Isn't that nice?

MILLER: Coach got a chance to exorcise those demons against Duke. But also Coach Pitino, congratulations. Word is out that he possibly made the Hall of Fame.

NICHOLS: Probably, possibly. It's like the worst kept secret ever.

MILLER: I know, right?

NICHOLS: And a tweet from Dickey V. He is in on the secret, too. "I am so happy for Jerry Tarkanian -Guy Lewis and Rick Pitino. They're now Hall of Famers. It is such a thrill to get that call," and that will be officially announced tomorrow. But we will a little bit early word for you. Part of the all access here at the Final Four. And we have a little more Luda coming up. I think he is wearing a Kevin Ware jersey, right?

MILLER: Oh, that's love right there. You're Kevin Ware, that is love, my friend.

NICHOLS: I'm telling you, that injury turned a number one overall seed into everyone's sentimental favorite. It is unbelievable. We will have more to come here on CNN's all access to the Final Four. When we come back, we'll check in with Joe Carter and show you some of the best tweets of the tournament. And more Luda! More news. Stick around.



MILLER: This team is for real.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's the beauty of this game, the drama created.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wolverines are hearing it from the crowd.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:Mind-boggling to try and go against this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Louisville heads to Atlanta!


MILLER; Rach, look at this list, this is probably the best all- time team ever. NCAA came out with the best players and the all time March Madness team. But speaking of lists, let's head out to the Georgia Dome to our own Joe Carter.

JOE CARTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT; Yes, speaking of lists, Reg, Bleacher Report putting together a heck of a list. Best Final Four performances of all time. Best Final Four performances, in my opinion, got to go to Christian Laettner, '91. Duke, the last-second buzzer beater shot that beat Kentucky. And also on that list, Carmelo Anthony from 2003, 33 points against Texas. Most all-time by a freshman.

My favorite, not a person but a team. Villanova, '85, the eighth seed beating Patrick Ewing, Georgetown, shooting 78 percent from the field.

We want to know what you think. Who do you think had the best Final Four performance? #bestfinalfourperformance. Best Final Four performance. You can also throw in Michael Jordan, '83, Glen Rice, '89, Magic Johnson, and the list goes on and on. And we're getting tweets. As we said, we'd be taking them from you throughout the show. Look at this tweet. This coming from Buffalo Bill wide receiver Stevie Johnson. "Cuse and Louisville" -- saying it wrong. "to the ship." Meaning they're going to win tonight. "WSU is deep, but Pitino isn't having it. Michigan's Burke is a whiz with the rock." Trey Burke, player of the year. "However, got to fear the zone, Rich!" Gotta fear the zone, Reg. It is like suffocating defense that Syracuse puts out there.

NICHOLS: Stevie Johnson just wants everyone to win it sounds like, Joe, right? He is for everyone.

CARTER: Say that again, Rachel.

NICHOLS: I said Stevie Johnson, Joe, he just wants everyone to win. Reggie, what about you?

CARTER: Yeah, you're right.

NICHOLS: You look through those performances Joe was talking about. What was your favorite Final Four performance?

MILLER: I know you think I'm going to go with Bill Walton in '73, the guy I grew up with, one my mentors. Magic Johnson in '79 versus Larry legend himself, Larry Bird.

NICHOLS: Nice! Can you do the Magic Johnson smile?


NICHOLS: You don't have the teeth for it.


NICHOLS: You don't. I'm sorry.

MILLER; Sorry.

NICHOLS: I want to know if somebody else is going to join that list this weekend. Heard Stevie mention among everybody else Trey Burke. I am watching Trey Burke big-time. This kid has no conscience.


NICHOLS: Reggie, remind you of anyone you know when you watch him? Take a look. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three-point game! Five seconds. Fires for three! And the game is tied! He's tied it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you kidding me?


MILLER: Oh, I love it.

NICHOLS: See, that's the Reggie I know.

MILLER: See, that's what I'm talking about. Trey -- like it.

NICHOLS: Whoo! See, that was you out there.

MILLER: Yeah, I love the celebration, too. That's exactly how wide my eyes would be.

NICHOLS: See, I shouldn't have asked you to do the Magic Johnson face earlier. Can you do the Reggie? I want to see that face now.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They can feel it right now. The march to Atlanta.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Outstanding basketball.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wichita State is going to the Final Four.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All he kept saying, win the game. Win the game. I've not seen that in my life.


MILLER: Tell you what, we are talking about the all access. Luda Luda, bringing it at Centennial Park. We always talked about the emotions from a player's perspective, right? I want to know from a journalist's standpoint, how do you approach all this?

NICHOLS: Well, I wasn't doing the Harlem Shake like Luda was.


NICHOLS: Yes, that's a little old. Luda's got to get with the times. C'mon.

But it was pretty cool. We have been documenting my journey through NCAA Tournament. This is the bus, by the way, the CNN Express Bus. Do you have a bus?

MILLER: No, I don't. And what's up with that, Turner?

NICHOLS: You need to get a bus. It is the way to travel. We started in Auburn Hills, then we moved on. It was amazing to see the moments in basketball that sticks with you when you see a great game. But really, it's talking to all these kids.

MILLER; The White House?

NICHOLS: C'mon, I'm from D.C. I'm presidential. And you get to see that kid who lives on your block who's always in the driveway, always with the basketball and doing that three, two, one, whoo!

MILLER: That was me.

NICHOLS: They get to have that moment. And the fans too have been so incredible. Screaming for their schools. Even if they're not really basketball fans, they just want to support, represent, and then you get all the people screaming from their brackets so they become Syracuse or Michigan fans or whatever. It really just gets the entire country involved. Whether you love sports or not, whether you love basketball or not, you get to cheer for something. It's a lot of fun.

MILLER: I will say this: looking at that piece, you are a rock star, lady.

NICHOLS: Just because I have a bus?

MILLER: Well, you have a bus and all the kids running up to you and shaking your hand and asking for your autograph and pictures. That's got to be a nice feeling.

NICHOLS: Clearly, you have to get a bus. I mean, I know you have a hall of fame basketball career, but if you get a bus --

MILLER: David Levi, I need a bus!

NICHOLS: We'll get David Levy to get you a bus. And we will be back wrapping things up from Atlanta. A little action with Ludacris. You do the fist pump, too? That's a little old school as well.

MILLER: Let's do the wave! Come on!


NICHOLS: Man, it is heating up here in Atlanta. Oh, look at the UCLA Bruins.

MILLER: That's great.

NICHOLS: Take a look at that, Reggie. Because you're not going to see that for the rest of the night.

MILLER: That's great. I like that.

NICHOLS: They're not in the Final Four. You're still going with Louisville, by the way?

MILLER: We! We are going with Louisville.

NICHOLS: Right. Doing our picks.

MILLER: I like Michigan in the second game. And we like Louisville on Monday.

NICHOLS: We like Louisville. It's good to know what we like.

MILLER: We. We're a packaged team here.

NICHOLS: Exactly. All right. Look at the hands up there. Thank you for watching all access from the Final Four. Enjoy the games, enjoy the crowds. Let's go back to the Fredricka Whitfield in the CNN NEWSROOM.