Alabama Final Four run forced Charles Barkley to do the unthinkable

Charles Barkley is an Auburn alum. With Alabama making the Final Four, Chuck had to speak the words no Auburn fan ever wants to hear

Clemson v Alabama
Clemson v Alabama / Harry How/GettyImages

No Auburn fan will ever say "Roll Tide" due to their hatred for Alabama, but former Auburn basketball star and Hall-of-Famer Charles Barkley was all but forced to as part of Turner Sports' coverage of March Madness.

After the Crimson Tide advanced to the Final Four by beating Clemson in the Elite Eight, Barkley politely gave his props but was forced to say the unthinkable due to endless egging on from fellow co-host Kenny Smith.

First and foremost, major props to the Chuckster. He, unlike fellow Inside the NBA co-hosts Shaquille O'Neal and Kenny Smith, can take a joke and run with it. Smith comes up with excuses all the time (see the Race to the Board segments) and O'Neal always reverts to the petty championship rings talk.

Secondly, it takes a big man to pay homage to a rival even in uncomfortable situations.

Charles Barkley says 'Roll Tide' reluctantly after Alabama makes Final Four

The Crimson Tide have been special this year. Despite losing superstar Brandon Miller to the NBA, the Tide are now on the biggest stage of college basketball. They beat several good teams to get there, including North Carolina (Kenny Smith's school). Mark Sears has been the driving force, evidenced by his second-half dominance against Clemson.

But the journey is not over. Alabama's next opponent? The reigning champion and heavy favorite UConn Huskies, who are dominating college basketball this in an eerily similar fashion to how Nick Saban and the football program have done for several years. If the Tide were to stun the Huskies, it would be the greatest upset in college basketball in a long time.

Again, props to Chuck for taking it in stride. If he did want to get back at Kenny Smith, all Chuck has to do is bring up how the Tar Heels have the biggest collapse in a national championship game against Kansas. That would be enough. Maybe break out the knee jokes and even beat Kenny to the board a few times. What goes around inevitably comes around.