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Charles Barkley has eye on campuses

Former NBA basketball player Charles Barkley, right, greets

Former NBA basketball player Charles Barkley, right, greets a fan during the first half in a first-round SEC tournament game between Auburn and South Carolina on Wednesday, March 12, 2014, in Atlanta. Credit: AP

Charles Barkley said he focuses exclusively on the NBA in November and December, after which “you can tell the good teams and the bad teams or just pretty good teams.’’

Then on Jan. 1 he switches to college mode to prepare for his job as a CBS/Turner analyst during the NCAA Tournament. He said he leans on announcer friends such as Dan Bonner, Mike Gminski and Greg Anthony to help fill him in.

But Barkley said when Turner initially partnered with CBS in 2011, he and his TNT friends got the cold shoulder from some there.

“They didn’t treat us very well, because they thought we were trying to take their jobs,’’ he said. “You could just tell there was some tension in the beginning. I’m not trying to take your job. I’m not even sure we want to do this! . . . Relax.’’

Barkley reiterated his desire someday to work the First Four with ESPN’s Dick Vitale, a move ESPN has endorsed but CBS and Turner have not.

“It’s so stupid, because it’s not a competition,’’ he said. “We have the tournament. It would be great exposure for both of us and I’m disappointed that they haven’t made it happen . . . Can you imagine? It would be cool.’’

New York Sports