Ah, the Madness!
The ACC went 11-1, advancing five teams to the Sweet 16 — just one year after five ACC teams got bounced during the same time span. The highly-touted (pre-Tournament) Big 12 saw five of its seven entries ousted. The Big 10 advanced only a pair as well.
Speaking of pairs, two No. 2 seeds advanced. Along with two No. 3s, two No. 4s, two No. 5s and two No. 7s. What parity.
We’ll let those responsible for this Madness explain how it happened. From the mandated post-game press conferences, as transcribed by asapsports.com, here’s how the coaches themselves explained the Madness. And how they really wanted to:
Ron Hunter, Georgia State: I said yesterday, if you got to the five minute mark and we were within a couple of possessions, we would win the game.
Translation: Still, I was caught a little bit by surprise, I must say.
Scott Drew, Baylor: That’s not who we are, and yet, I know what will be dwelt upon and talked about is how we didn’t finish the game.
Translation: That kid’s shot kind of reminded me of my brother.
Mike Young, Wofford: I’m so disappointed that we didn’t win, but, you know, Arkansas is Arkansas.
Translation: We shot 31 percent, so now they’re saying, you know, Wofford is Wofford.
Fred Hoiberg, Iowa State: First of all, sorry. I’m a little under the weather here.
Translation: You’d be sick, too, if you’d just been outrebounded, 52-37, by UAB.
Larry Brown, SMU: I never saw a game end like that. It’s not crying over spilt milk, but why would you have all these TV people, and take five seconds and review a goaltending? We’ve got all these cameras! It happened so fast!
Translation: What he said.
Johnny Jones, LSU: I thought our guys did a terrific job of getting off to a great start.
Translation: We won the first half, 40-26! We lost the second, 40-25.
Bill Coen, Northeastern: Our Achilles heel has been our turnovers.
Translation: True to form, we had 16. Notre Dame had 7. Ball game.
Rick Barnes, Texas: It is what it is. We are who we are right now.
Translation: Our conference is what it is, too.
Brad Underwood, Stephen F. Austin: When you look at the scoreboard after 40 minutes, they had more points than we did.
Translation: When you look at the scoreboard after 40 minutes, they had more points than we did.
Shaka Smart, VCU: We had a shot at the buzzer, regulation, to finish it off. Our best player. It’s a shot he’s made before. We’ll take that again all day. He just didn’t make it.
Translation: Wish we had RJ Hunter to take that shot.
Rick Byrd, Belmont: They were the better team.
Translation: Virginia shot 25 free throws. We shot six. Just sayin’.
Tom Crean, Indiana: The biggest difference was the points they were able to score inside the paint.
Translation: It’s hard to defend when you’re whistled for 26 fouls.
Fran McCaffery, Iowa: I’m not sure we can play much better than we played in this game.
Translation: We played a superb game!
Bob McKillop, Davidson: They played a superb game!
Translation: I’m not sure they can play much better than they played in this game.
Larry Krystkowiak, Utah: We turned it over against Stephen F. Austin so much last night. Our goal was less than 10. I wrote it on the board. For us to get nine turnovers was huge.
Translation: Its rock n’ roll when the kids listen!
Sean Miller, Arizona: Any time you beat Ohio State, it’s a great, great moment.
Translation: We couldn’t ever schedule them when I was at Xavier, so this is ultra-sweet, baby!
Bill Self, Kansas: Well, congratulations to Iowa State. I mean Wichita State.
Translation: Gee, you’d think I’d have a little more respect for Wichita State after watching them thrash us.
Gregg Marshall, Wichita State: Just a great day to be a part of Shocker Nation!
Translation: Now we all know why Kansas won’t play us!
Mark Few, Gonzaga: Well, that was fun.
Translation: I mean, we played great!
Bob Huggins, West Virginia: You look at the stats. We get 16 more shots than what they get. That’s what we have to do. We shot 36 percent the first half. They shot 55. And we led by one. Because we got more shots.
Translation: I don’t mean to be abrasive, but it’s a simple game, really.