hayes on sc6

UW basketball star Nigel Hayes appearing on ESPN's SportsCenter Monday evening.


After hitting the game-winning shot in the Wisconsin Badgers' thrilling upset of top-ranked Villanova Saturday in the NCAA Men's Basketball Touranment, highly quotable senior forward Nigel Hayes was invited on nearly every nationwide sports talk radio show Monday.

That included ESPN Radio's "Mike & Mike," "The Dan Patrick Show," "The Rich Eisen Show," and ESPN's new "SC6" television show.

With the ESPN morning duo of Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic, Hayes talked about the differences between this year's team and the Badgers' 2014 and 2015 Final Four squads. He was also asked about the difference between the way the team is playing in the tournament and how it played during a February skid that featured five losses in six games.

Greenberg, notorious for mentioning that he graduated from Northwestern at every opportunity (ie. at least twice in this interview), asked Hayes if he's taken much flack for his statements about college athletes being paid.

"I've been raised by a great mother, queen of the universe. She's done a great job of raising me to be strong, to be tough when it comes to criticism," Hayes said. "No criticism can match hers, so therefore I'm unaffected by things a lot of people say."

The Hayes interview shows up at about 23:20 of the video below:

Up next: Dan Patrick. Unlike the dry, by-the-books conversation with Greenberg and Golic, the Patrick interview included some of Patrick's go-to questions for college athletes, such as what's in Hayes' refrigerator and what's in his apartment that might surprise people.

"It's extremely clean, so that's probably what would surprise you the most, contrary to popular belief of a male college athlete," Hayes said. "My apartment is pretty immaculate."

Rich Eisen, another former ESPN personality who now anchors the NFL Network's programming, is to the University of Michigan what Greenberg is to Northwestern. But despite being a very public booster for a big Wisconsin rival, Eisen greeted Hayes on his show with a hearty compliment for Hayes.

"I really enjoy how you go about your business, Nigel!" he said.

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Hayes was immediately asked about his activism and Eisen prodded him to address the payment of college athletes.

"It's just simple economics. Let me use some of the schooling I've had: Economics, the free market system we live in. Supply and demand. If we're the workers in this system that are generating all of this money, then those workers deserve a piece of that compensation."

Each of the shows touched on Hayes' game-winning layup against Villanova, which he immediately compared to a move made famous by Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan in the 1991 NBA playoffs. On ESPN's SportsCenter, Hayes told hosts Jemele Hill and Michael Smith that he has used the move throughout his career, dating to high school, but "nowhere near as glamorous" as Jordan.

Jason Joyce took over as news editor of The Capital Times in 2013.