How’d they get in the Tournament, let alone reach the Final Four?
And what’s North Carolina doing there? Didn’t Oklahoma and Villanova show Carolina that Number One seeds aren’t invited this year?
To answer these questions and explain the strange trip from Sweet Sixteen to Final Four, welcome to Tournament Coachspeak, Part II. All quotes are taken from the official post-game pressers, transcribed by asapsports.com.
Billy Kennedy, Texas A&M: Every mistake that we made, they made us pay. I just wish we would have played better in this game, because we definitely are capable of playing better than we played.
Translation: We went seven minutes without a field goal, shot 34%, missed 22 of 28 threes, and bricked 11 of 24 free throws. Sadly, this time, we weren’t trailing Northern Iowa.
Lon Kruger, Oklahoma: A good win, obviously.
Translation: We’d go undefeated in the conference those cats play in.
Mike Krzyzewski, Duke: They were the better team. That was pretty obvious tonight. They were always in control of the game.
Translation: We ran out of gas after 39 minutes. So much for the short rotation. And, that kid didn’t have to toss in a three and celebrate at the end.
Dana Altman, Oregon: Duke is a household name, so it is significant for us.
Translation: I told the kid to shoot the three. Anyone got a problem with that?
Mark Turgeon, Maryland: They made shots. We’re a good offensive team, we’re hard to guard, and they really locked in on us.
Translation: Second half, they shot 56 percent. We shot 35 percent. Ballgame.
Jim Larranaga, Miami: Normally, if I look at a stat sheet and we’ve shot 53% from the field, 58% from three, I think we probably won the game. But you look at their stats: 62% from the field, 66% from three, 95 percent from the foul line. They’re just an incredible offensive team.
Translation: They’re just an incredible offensive team.
Jay Wright, Villanova: We just got more stops than them.
Translation: We won by 23. We had several more stops than them.
Steve Prohm, Iowa State: We weren’t good enough defensively in the first half. Our first half defense wasn’t good enough to win this level game. Our second half defense was, but our first half defense wasn’t.
Translation: We let steady, methodical Virginia ring up 45 on us in the first half!
Tony Bennett, Virginia: I think our offense really helped us.
Translation: We rang up 45 on them in the first half!
Mark Few, Gonzaga: The thing that really stings, though, and hurts, is that we gave up three offensive rebounds there, and six over the last two minutes.
Translation: They shot 36 percent. There were plenty of rebounds to be had.
Jim Boeheim, Syracuse: This was our worst offensive game, and we had enough to make a couple of plays at the end and win the game.
Translation: We really hit the offensive boards late.
Greg Gard, Wisconsin: Disappointed with how it finished up from the standpoint of having 17 turnovers, a program that prides themselves in taking care of the ball.
Translation: Up by three with 26 seconds left, and we lose by five? What are we, Northern Iowa?
Mike Brey, Notre Dame: On Monday, I told our group, I saw us showing up as the 16th rated team of the 16 teams left. But I thought we were the toughest team, the number one team in toughness.
Translation: You gotta be tough to beat Notre Dame on Good Friday.
Roy Williams, North Carolina: No complaining, because we played very, very well.
Translation: We played outstanding.
Tom Crean, Indiana: North Carolina played outstanding.
Translation: No complaining, because they played very, very well.
Dana Altman, Oregon: Just a very disappointing first half. They just killed us on the boards. They were much quicker to the ball. They just did a tremendous job on the boards. In fact, they had 15 second chance points, I believe, at halftime.
Translation: The Duke win was significant for us.
Lon Kruger, Oklahoma: I thought we rebounded the ball well in the first half.
Translation: We were up 18 at the half. Pretty much everything went our way.
Bill Self, Kansas: I’ve been involved in, I think, eight of these (Regional Finals), and only won two of them. It’s without question the hardest game in the Tournament to lose.
Translation: Pick us in the Tournament at your own risk.
Jay Wright, Villanova: You see it in them. It’s the greatest feeling in the world to see these guys get to that point where everyone else sees that they’re as good as we see they can be, and that they see.
Translation: I see we made 18 of 19 free throws.
Tony Bennett, Virginia: We’ve had some trouble against presses.
Translation: For those of you who thought steady, methodical Virginia couldn’t blow a 15-point lead: welcome to the Tournament, where all things are possible.
Jim Boeheim, Syracuse: We came out at halftime, we wanted to try to keep it within 12 or so, and with about 10 minutes try to go with full court pressure. The full court press helped, and we got a steal or two.
Translation: We went on a 25-4 run! Is that coaching, or what? And who said we didn’t belong in this thing?
Mike Brey, Notre Dame: We took that one-point lead and they really answered it like men, and we didn’t have much left. They wore us down a little bit with their depth.
Translation: So much for the short rotation. We couldn’t tough it out.
Roy Williams, North Carolina: It’s not supposed to be easy to get to the Final Four.
Translation: When you shoot 61.5 percent and outrebound ‘em, 32-15, it’s a piece of cake.