Legendary Basketball Hall of Famer Julius Erving Talks March Madness, What It Takes To Win It All
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Legendary Basketball Hall of Famer Julius Erving — Dr. J, as fans know him affectionately — knows a thing or two about what it takes to be awesome.
Erving, 11-time NBA and five-time ABA All-Star, spoke to Fox News Digital on Saturday about this weekend Final square matchups and the talented coaches who got them there.
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“I take my hat off to all of them for getting this great honor to get there and, whatever the end, there are no real losers – there are only three losers,” Erving said in laughing when asked about his predictions.
“Somebody’s got to come out the champion.”
the Duke Blue Devilswho won five NCAA titles under outgoing head coach Mike Krzyzewski, will face the North Carolina Tar Heels, a program that has won six national championships and reached more Final Fours than any college basketball program, on Saturday at 8:49 p.m. ET.
But before that, Jay Wright and the Villanova Wildcats will face the No. 1 seed Kansas Jayhawks, who are looking for their first national championship since 2008.
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“Well, you know, Jay Wright is my guy,” Erving said when asked about his predictions. “I lived in Villanova when I was in Philadelphia and I played for the 76ers. I lived there. I used to go to school and practice and take my kids to the camps that Rollie Massimino (1973-92) used to have there so I’m partial to that respect.”
Erving did not say who he thinks will emerge victorious on Saturday. Asked if Krzyzewski could win it all, Erving described the result as a storybook ending to a storied career.
“It’s fantasy. It’s the Cinderella story. You think St. Peter’s presence was a Cinderella story. Duke won and he was taken off the field in his last game…This would be very appropriate.”
This year’s Final Four has no shortage of talent and competition.
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“In the storm, you have to stay calm. You have to stay true to your preparation. Everyone is ready for this moment. How you handle this moment is the calm you need to have inside.”
Erving spoke to Fox News Digital on behalf of Coca-Cola’s “Debate the Goatness” campaign, which launched on Draft Sunday and will run through both the men’s and women’s championship games.
Other basketball greats, including 2021-22 NBA MVP leader Joel Embiid, four-time NCAA champion Breanna Stewart, and Naismith Hall of Famer Lisa Leslie, are also featured in two commercials that will be broadcast throughout the two tournaments.