Might there be a method to this Madness?
Of course. All we have to do is listen to the coaches explain what happened. From the official NCAA-sanctioned postgame press conferences, as transcribed at asapsports.com, here’s another riveting installment of What They Said and What They Meant:
Tom Izzo, Michigan State: This is the greatest sporting event, I think, in the world, because there’s so much on each and every second of each and every game.
Translation: My guys came out flat and trailed, 42-24, at the half. End of story.
Bob Williams, UCSB: They’re really good. They’re really good!
Translation: Florida hit 11 of their first 15 shots, and beat us by 18. It could’ve been much worse. They’re really good.
Sydney Johnson, Princeton: Kentucky has got a great tradition. Ours is no less.
Translation: Hey, we made 3-of-14 threes. We make one of the 11 we missed, we beat those ‘Cats.
John Calipari, Kentucky: I’m happy we won the game. That’s my opening statement.
Translation: Despite all our history, tradition, and talent, we were lucky to edge Princeton.
Brad Brownell, Clemson: We didn’t lose the game because it started at 12:15, but I don’t know if we were a half step slow.
Translation: I didn’t wake up until the second half.
Rick Pitino, Louisville: This is as tough a loss as I’ve had in coaching.
Translation: Maybe I can parlay our early exit into a cushy studio gig for the rest of the tournament.
Mark Few, Gonzaga: We played great.
Translation: We just throttled a team from the Big East by 15. Big deal.
Kevin Stallings, Vanderbilt: They did a better job making their free throws than we did.
Translation: They missed 7 of 12; we missed 9 of 23.
B.J. Hill, Northern Colorado: Thought we followed the game plan for about 34 minutes tonight.
Translation: There’s so much on each and every second of each and every game.
Fran Dunphy, Temple: A great win for these guys.
Translation: If Penn State wants to schedule us, tell Ed DeChellis he’s gonna have to call me.
Ed Biedenbach, UNC-Asheville: They had a rebounding differential of 50-27 and, although it’s a physical game, you can’t lose the rebounding differential by that much and stay in the game.
Translation: Pitt got away with murder under the boards! But it gave me a chance to use “differential” twice in the same sentence.
Mark Fox, Georgia: Once you understand the consequences of little things, you realize there are no little things.
Translation: Isaiah Thomas played like the biggest guy on the floor.
Roy Williams, North Carolina: It’s a W. We’re one of 32 teams.
Translation: We just surrendered 87 points to Long Island University. We couldn’t defend an air-tight alibi.
Edward Joyner, Hampton: Every college team says “I want to play Duke. I want to see what it’s like to play Duke.” We surely found out.
Translation: On the whole, I’d rather play Coppin State. Or a Big East team.
Bruce Pearl, Tennessee: This was a very difficult loss.
Translation: We got whipped, 42-16, in the second half. That’s not a team rallying around its embattled coach. I’m not gonna lie to ya.
Keith Dambrot, Akron: I’m disappointed we didn’t win, really.
Translation: The luck of the Irish: we missed 41 shots, and half our free throws.
John Thompson III, Georgetown: It’s hard when you get to this point and the season’s over.
Translation: Fortunately, I have plenty of Big East brethren with whom to commiserate.
Josh Pastner, Memphis: That was a very good basketball game. I thought it was a terrific basketball game.
Translation: What a fantastic basketball game!
Donnie Tyndall, Morehead State: I thought their defense, it’s kind of a sagging man to man, and sometimes it’s a match-up zone. It’s very complicated to really run any set offense against it.
Translation: We scored 48 points. We didn’t have a clue.
Steve Fisher, San Diego State: This was really, two really good teams that played today.
Translation: Really, it was really a double overtime game. Really.
Mike Brey, Notre Dame: Florida State flat-out beat us.
Translation: Florida State flat-out beat us.
Shaka Smith, VCU: Our guys played great.
Translation: So, we don’t deserve to be in the tournament, huh? We’ve won more tournament games than anyone, and our fair city of Richmond has as many teams in the Sweet Sixteen as the Big Bad East. See you in San Antonio.
Bill Self, Kansas: We’re really excited.
Translation: It’s always a thrill to survive the first weekend of the tournament without being upset.