(CBS Minnesota/CBS Local) — Winning multiple games in the NCAA Tournament can define your legacy for life.
CBS Sports college basketball analyst Wally Szczerbiak can speak to that. People are still talking about when the NBA All-Star led Miami University to the Sweet 16 in 1999. Szczerbiak scored a career high 43 points in his team’s first round win over Washington and knows what it takes to get it done in March.
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“You want to be healthy as a team come March,” said Szczerbiak in an interview with CBS Local at CBS & Turner Sports NCAA Tournament Media Day last week. “It’s such a long season and you don’t want to be dragging. You want to be fresh and you want to be mentally fresh. The great teams realize that the whole entire regular season is building up to March and making sure that you’re peaking at the right time.”
While Szczerbiak sprung onto the scene as an underdog on a mid-major team, he has his eye on two of the top teams to cut down the nets this year.
“Duke is one of my favorites to win it all along with Gonzaga,” said Szczerbiak. “They have a legit team on the west coast. They are a small conference team, but they can compete with anyone.”
In addition to his role with CBS Sports, Szczerbiak is also a studio analyst for the New York Knicks on MSG. With all the talk about Zion Williamson going #1 overall in June, Szczerbiak has been keeping a close watch on the Duke star.
“Zion Williamson to me is the best defender in college basketball,” said Szczerbiak. “He blocks shots, gets steals and he can lock a guy up one on one. His pure competitiveness on that level is impressive. Obviously offensively, he is just as good if not better. He plays both ends of the floor.”