March Madness, indeed.
A pair of 11 seeds reached the Sweet Sixteen, but no fives and a single three. All the four seeds advanced, but only three ones and two twos. The denigrated SEC went undefeated, advancing all three teams, the same number as the Big Ten and the Pac-12. And that’s two more than the mighty ACC, which saw five teams fall.
If anyone can explain this insanity, it’s the folks most responsible: the coaches themselves. Here’s what they had to say at their official post-game press conferences, as transcribed by asapsports.com. But more vital for our purposes, here’s what they wanted to say as well:
Thad Matta, Ohio State: These things happen. No, give Dayton credit. They made some big plays.
Translation: Now you know why I won’t schedule them.
Phil Martelli, St. Joseph’s: Sometimes in life you don’t get what you really want.
Translation: Man, I really wanted to beat UConn!
Kevin Ollie, UConn: We was banned from the NCAA Tournament, but like I said always, we wasn’t banned from loving each other and encouraging each other all the time.
Translation: Can you believe it was academics that kept us out of the Tournament?
Rob Jeter, Milwaukee: I think the score doesn’t really indicate how these guys played and the way they battled and fought.
Translation: That was not, as everyone knows, a 12-point game.
Jay Wright, Villanova: That was not, as everyone knows, a 12-point game.
Translation: I think the score doesn’t really indicate how these guys played and the way they battled and fought.
Mike Young, Wofford: We couldn’t make a shot. Last time I checked, that’s a pretty important aspect of the game.
Translation: We missed 35 of 53 shots. We’re not going to beat J & W-Charlotte shooting like that.
Will Brown, Albany: This is our third game in six days against arguably the best team in the country.
Translation: One game against Florida feels like three!
Tad Boyle, Colorado: We’re obviously extremely disappointed with our performance today.
Translation: Did it look as awful to you guys as it did from the bench?
Jim Crews, Saint Louis: All of it was improvised. You shouldn’t do things you never practice, but we were in a position we had to do that.
Translation: Coaching’s overrated. Coaching got us 16 down. Playing a trapping defense we’d never practiced won us the game.
Mark Gottfried, NC State: It’s heartbreaking. It’s hard to explain.
Translation: I got outcoached. We didn’t see them trap on film.
Josh Pastner, Memphis: I want to recognize the best AD in the country, Tom Bowen, right there, and our deputy, best deputy AD, Wren Baker. They’re the best in the business.
Translation: It’s contract renewal time!
Cliff Ellis, Coastal Carolina: They showed why they’re good. They didn’t panic when we took the lead. They stayed the course. They played tremendous defense.
Translation: Naturally, we drew Virginia, the only ACC team in the tournament that had a clue.
Bob Hoffman, Mercer: Our guys believed they could win. You can conquer anything if you have the belief they do in each other and their skill set.
Translation: We believe the ACC in general and Duke in particular were overhyped and overrated.
Mike Krzyzewski, Duke: I love this game, and when the game’s played really well, I hope it’s us that’s playing it. But when it’s the other team, you applaud it. I applaud Mercer, they were absolutely terrific today.
Translation: Mercer Bears. Monsters of Macon. Those guys played like Lehigh today!
Brad Underwood, Stephen F. Austin: Miracles truly do happen! What a game! What a game!
Translation: Miracles truly do happen! What a game! What a game!
Steve Alford, UCLA: Coming off the Pac-12 tournament, we played really well and shot the ball at a high level and I thought Tulsa did a great job in the first half in particular and we got out of rhythm, and we didn’t make shots we normally had been making but for forty minutes our defense was really consistent I thought and we held them to 34 percent on one half and 38 percent the next and to hold them to that and did a much better job on the boards on the second half.
Translation: I read a lot of Faulkner.
Archie Miller, Dayton: I’m happy for our administration, I’m happy for our city, I’m happy for our fans, I’m happy for our players. There isn’t a better place to play basketball than the University of Dayton.
Translation: I’m the most happy fella.
Bo Ryan, Wisconsin: How many fast break points did they get in the first half? How many did they get in the second half? Zero. Oregon. One of the quickest teams in the country.
Translation: There’s no substitute for brilliant halftime coaching adjustments.
Tony Bennett, Virginia: Our league was strong. Everybody can make their statements. But I’m just thankful we’re standing. I don’t know what it means about us.
Translation: I’m thinking that maybe we were the best of a bad lot.
Scott Drew, Baylor: It’s one of those games as a coach that you look back and say, ‘We were pretty good tonight!’
Translation: We just beat a No. 3 seed by 30. Bring on Wisconsin!
Mark Few, Gonzaga: We ran into a buzz saw.
Translation: I think Arizona could beat the Lakers.
Sean Miller, Arizona: Tonight was one of our season’s best performances.
Translation: I think we could beat the Lakers.