Bill Clinton photo

Interview With Jim Nantz of CBS Sports in Dallas

March 27, 1994

NCAA Basketball Tournament

Mr. Nantz. We're here with President Bill Clinton. It looks like you're having a great time. What do you think of the game so far?

The President. Great game, and our kids are playing well. But Michigan is playing a terrific game. They've done a great job defensing our big guys in the middle. And we've had the 3point shot, so we're a little ahead. But this is a good game.

Mr. Nantz. We saw you really excited after some Arkansas baskets, but we also want to show you a couple of other times where it didn't go so well for the Hogs, and here's how you reacted. Tell us about it.

The President. They were missing layups. We missed about five layups there, four in the beginning.

Mr. Nantz. We need a little more coaching here, Mr. President.

The President. We missed another layup.

Mr. Nantz. Well, Chelsea's been calling the Hogs a few times. I haven't seen you up doing that quite yet.

The President. I haven't done it. I'll get into it as we go along. I really get into the game. I'm impressed, though. It's a good, good basketball game.

Mr. Nantz. You're going to talk to both teams after the game, I understand.

The President. I'd like to do that if we——

Mr. Nantz. What are you going to tell them?

The President. That they've got a lot to be proud of. Both these teams have got a lot to be proud of. And this Michigan team—of course, they have these four guys that have been to the last game twice—without an enormous amount of depth, they are playing incredible defense, and they're doing very well. So we'll just see. I hope we win, but it's going to be a tight game.

Mr. Nantz. How much have you been able to watch the Razorbacks so far in the tournament, up until today?

The President. I've watched all the games. I watch them all. And I've watched a lot of the other games, too.

Mr. Nantz. Do you have any words for Nolan Richardson? Have you had a chance to send a little tip in to the team? He doesn't need it, though, right?

The President. I'm trying to learn about basketball from him, not the other way around. I just sit and watch and learn.

Mr. Nantz. If Arkansas holds on and wins this game, are you going to Charlotte? Are you going to go with them?

The President. Oh, yes, I'll go.

Mr. Nantz. Both semifinals and possibly championship game, too?

The President. We've tried to work it out so that I can go to both games. I'm going to try.

NOTE: The interview began at 4 p.m. in Reunion Arena. Nolan Richardson was the University of Arkansas Razorbacks basketball coach. A tape was not available for verification of the content of this interview.

William J. Clinton, Interview With Jim Nantz of CBS Sports in Dallas Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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