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Ever Had A Break Up So Bad It Ruined March Madness Forever?

The Pac 12 is having a ridiculous run in the NCAA tournament this year, and no team has blown up more brackets than the UCLA Bruins. This is a team that has rested on their history more than almost any team in the conference, preaching about Wooden’s titles every step of the way even when they have consistently underperformed. Mick Cronin, who replaced Steve Alford, has turned this team around, beating Michigan State in the play-in game and now face #1 Michigan for a shot at their first Final Four in 13 years.

Now imagine being a HUGE fan of UCLA hoops … having seen every home and away game for nearly half a decade during the lean years. And now, on the cusp of glory, not giving a shit whether UCLA wins or loses any more? Add to that being a varsity athlete at USC, who ALSO plays tonight for a shot at the Final Four, and not even caring about that. 

Meet Katie Austin, daughter of legendary sports agent Jeff Austin (who represents Giannis, Curry, etc.) and fitness icon Denise Austin.

Katie grew up surrounded by basketball; Chris Paul used to come over for dinner all the time. Her dad represented DELL CURRY he’s been in the biz so long. She’s covered the NBA Summer League and hosted the NBA Awards show in addition to covering the league for Fox Sports West. Basketball is in her blood.

Her freshman year as a stud lacrosse player at USC, she began dating the point guard at UCLA, who just happened to be the son of the coach. Yes, Katie’s long-time boyfriend was Bryce Alford, who if you recall, was the only 3 Star recruit UCLA has taken in like 120 years (and who famously was made backup over Zach Fucking Lavine as a freshman). She went to every UCLA game as his girlfriend, traveled with the team for 5 years, and after they broke up, it brings back so many memories she can’t even watch March Madness anymore. 

Here’s the transcript of this part of our interview:

TK: The men's Pac 12 is dominating in the [NCAA] tournament this year.

KA: Here's the thing, I used to be EXTREMELY into  NCAA sports and March Madness. I actually used to travel to ALL the games and Sweet Sixteen and stuff because I dated a guy for five years ...

TK: Bryce Alford!

KA: Yeah! How did you know that?

 TK: Because it's all on Google, girl!

KA: So funny. I dated the point guard for UCLA. So I used to be SO into it, then a few years after we broke up I was like, honestly? I can't watch it. It's just too much. I needed a little more ... I don't know. 

TK: The break up was to a point where you can't even watch NCAA men's games any more.

KA: Yeah. I don't even care. He like really, really fucked me up for a while. Not going to lie. So it just doesn't interest me anymore, and it sucks. It really fucking sucks. 

Wow. Big props to Katie for being so honest. Break ups are rough in the best of circumstances, but to ruin an entire sport? That is WILD. And it should be noted, she did pick USC to go the furthest of any of the Pac 12 teams. 

I do kind of think she might be secretly hoping the Bruins flame out. I know I would. And also, Fuck Bryce Alford and Steve Alford for taking reps from Zach Lavine. Hope you’re having fun playing hoops in Portugal alongside Tweety Carter, king. 

We talked about a number of other subjects on the most recent episode of THIS LEAGUE. She got DEEP into the weeds on a number of subjects, ranging from what it was like to grow up with guys like Chris Paul and Steph Curry around the house all the time to what it felt like to be a highly recruited Lacrosse athlete (she led the nation in assists in high school) only to be surrounded by Aunt Becky “Pay-For-Admissions” student “athletes” at USC.