Charles Barkley vs Magic Johnson: You Can Bet on Who Will Be Mentioned More During Final Four

Magic Johnson
Magic Johnson will be in Michigan State's corner for the Final Four. Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Zachary Bell (Wikimedia Commons)
  • Charles Barkley’s Auburn Tigers are making their first Final Four appearance
  • Magic Johnson won a national title with Michigan State in 1979
  • What NBA Hall-of-Famer is the better bet for more mentions?

It’s been a long time since Charles Barkley and Magic Johnson were pitted against each other in competition.

But here we are, into the Final Four, and Barkley, repping the Auburn Tigers, and Johnson, backing the Michigan State Spartans, are squaring off in the betting circle.

But it’s not about points, rebounds or assists. The battle is over air time.

Who Will Receive More Mentions During their Alma Mater’s Game?

Name Alma Mater Odds
Charles Barkley Auburn -300
Magic Johnson Michigan State +240

* Odds taken 04/02/19

Barkley Has the Upper Hand

The Chuckster is the overwhelming favorite because he’s off his usual NBA gig and onto the main panel for March Madness, delving into the world of college hoops for a month.

Barkley’s star power has been undeniable, especially as he’s shamelessly cheered Auburn all the way to the Final Four.

Along the way, he’s won bragging rights over TNT co-host Smith as Smith’s college team, perennial powerhouse North Carolina, was demolished by the Tigers in the Sweet 16. After besting Kentucky in OT to make the school’s first ever Final Four, Barkley was shook.

Magic is a Constant for MSU

It’s customary to find Johnson in the stands for Spartans games during the NCAA Tourney. He’s been a fixture since leading the school to a title in 1979 before starting the Showtime era with the Lakers.

He’s had plenty to cheer about recently. Under head coach Tom Izzo’s tutelage, MSU is in now in its eighth Final Four in 25 years.

But Magic isn’t just a figurehead. In fact, prior to the Spartans’ tilt with Duke, he addressed the team, urging them to get out and run. MSU took it to heart and outscored Duke 15-0 in fast break points, a key factor in the victory.

What’s the Best Bet to Make?

Magic will be prominent in the stands and will get airtime during MSU’s game against Texas Tech, but that doesn’t always translate into mentions. Many times, announcers let the moment “breathe”, opting for silence and letting the raucous crowd carry things. I’d say he’s called by name about three times.

Meanwhile, the CBS/Turner broadcast team knows Barkley is watching Auburn’s best chance at a national title, the school’s first ever foray into the Final Four. They won’t be shy to plug their biggest network star this tourney as Auburn tries to knock off Virginia.

Magic may have one national college title and five NBA championships, but this is one competition he won’t win.

Perhaps a rematch is in order, if both their schools advance to the title game.

Pick: Charles Barkley (-300)

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