College basketball coaches, MSG salute essential workers in video

NEW YORK -- Many of college basketball's top coaches and biggest rivals teamed up with Madison Square Garden for a video posted on social media Wednesday night to salute essential workers leading the fight against the coronavirus.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo and Villanova coach Jay Wright are some of the big names saying thank you in the 60-second spot, with most of them appearing to be in their homes or backyards.

Like plenty of others staying sheltered during the pandemic, a few of the coaches appear to have stopped shaving regularly. Kentucky's John Calipari and North Carolina's Roy Williams sport thick, gray beards, and Georgetown's Patrick Ewing has a beard as well.

Tony Bennett (Virginia), Jim Boeheim (Syracuse) and Bill Self (Kansas) are also among the 15 active coaches who participated. Rick Pitino appears in an Iona basketball T-shirt, representing the program he recently took over.

Others on camera include Big East commissioner Val Ackerman and popular college basketball broadcasters Bill Raftery and Dick Vitale, who tells health care workers, first responders, educators and more: "We see you, and you're awesome, baby!''

The video opens with an aerial view of Madison Square Garden in the heart of New York City, and Krzyzewski says, "The college basketball community is calling a timeout'' as he signals for one.

The video concludes with another shot of MSG and 95-year-old former St. John's coach Lou Carnesecca saying, "We'll see you back at the Garden!''