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Watch: Ray Lewis fires up Stanford with pre-game speech

Ray Lewis gives a locker room speech to Stanford before the NIT semifinal.
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(CBS News) In the NIT semifinals on Tuesday night, Stanford squared off against UMass in a tightly contested game at Madison Square Garden. But the real excitement came in the locker room before the game.

Prior to tipoff, Ravens star linebacker Ray Lewis paid a surprise visit to the Cardinal team to deliver a motivational speech to players.

"Wins and losses come a dime a dozen but effort?" Lewis says. "Nobody can judge effort. Because effort is between you and you."

He later got more animated: "I'm pissed off for greatness. Because if you ain't pissed off for greatness, that means you're OK with being mediocre."

The message worked. Stanford upset a much taller UMass squad 74-64, then went on to crush Minnesota 75-51 last night in the championship game.

Said Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins after the semifinal victory: "On a night when we didn't shoot well, we found a way to win."

We're guessing Lewis helped them find the way.

  • Stephen Smith

    Stephen Smith is a senior editor for CBSNews.com