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Translating tournament coachspeak
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Forsyth County News
Welcome to March Madness Lite.

What’s going on here? The top 12 seeds all advanced, along with two fours, a five and a 12. Where’s the madness in that?

How did this happen? With 48 games in four days, it’s hard to keep up with everything. Fortunately for us, every coach is required to offer his opinions at the Official NCAA Post Game Press Conference.

This enlightening and edifying process usually becomes obfuscated with coachspeak. The true art isn’t in hearing what the coach says; it’s in divining what the coach meant. Here are a few examples:

Bo Ryan, Wisconsin: “You can make all the changes you want as a coach, other than burning incense and doing a couple of dances over there on the sideline.”
Translation: Hey, we’re the lowest scoring team in the tournament. You think I haven’t tried everything I could think of? You got any ideas?

Sean Miller, Xavier: “We obviously beat a very good team today in Wisconsin.”
Translation: Talk about the Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight.

Dino Gaudio, Wake Forest: “We have an incredibly disappointed locker room right now.”
Translation: Losing to Georgia Tech should have prepared us for this.

Russ Pennell, Arizona: “I’m extremely proud of the guys, and happy that the outcome of the game was in our favor. Making the Sweet Sixteen, that’s kind of a benchmark.”
Translation: Not bad for an interim coach. And where’s that clown Dick Vitale? We don’t belong in the Tournament, huh? Like Saint Mary’s could have won these two games.

Gary Waters, Cleveland State: “Arizona’s zone was really tough today.”
Translation: We shot 3-for-23 from beyond the three-point line. We couldn’t beat Saint Mary’s shooting like that.

Gary Williams, Maryland: “He’s wrong in saying those things.”
Translation: Greivis Vasquez says Memphis couldn’t play in the ACC? Hey, for a lot of this year, we couldn’t play in the ACC.

Buzz Williams, Marquette: “Congratulations to Missouri and coach Anderson. Well deserving of the victory. Played a great game. I think they’re one of the best teams in the country, and I think they proved that today.”
Translation: Unbelievable. We lost the game because our guy stepped over the end line inbounding the ball. Can you imagine.

Mike Anderson, Missouri: “What a game. You wanted an up-tempo game, you got an up-tempo game. A lot of energy, a lot of activity.”
Translation: Watch Memphis try to keep up with us on Thursday. I mean, we’re from the Big XII. What conference are they from?

Roy Williams, North Carolina: “I really, really like President Obama. But, frankly, he’s got some more important things to worry about than the NCAA Tournament.”
Translation: Dadgum. Just what I need. Someone else to proclaim the season a failure if we don’t win it all.

Bill Self, Kansas: “Basketball’s a game of getting easy baskets.”
Translation: Dayton’s one of the worst shooting teams in the tournament. They don’t get any easy baskets.

Brian Gregory, Dayton: “I didn’t think we’d only score 43 points. We were struggling, you know? As I said, we are not pretty.”
Translation: We’re the 60th worst shooting team in the tournament. We don’t get any easy baskets.

Rick Pitino, Louisville: “I want to congratulate Siena. What I told our guys before the game is that Siena could compete in the Big East, be in the top half of the league, and I really meant it.”
Translation: Are you kidding me? Siena could win the SEC. And they’d be right there with Memphis in C-USA.

John Shulman, Chattanooga: “Never be ashamed to dream. Never be ashamed to believe. And never be ashamed about getting beat in the NCAA Tournament. We played really poorly. I hurt for our kids ... for our program … for our league. But still not ashamed. Disappointed, but not ashamed.”
Translation: I never dreamed UConn would drill us, 103-47. Yikes.

Oliver Purnell, Clemson: “We’re terribly disappointed that we didn’t win the game. I thought our big problem, of course, was we couldn’t get the ball to go in the basket.”
Translation: I really don’t understand. Usually we play with so much patience against a zone. Usually we play with so much poise in March.

Mike Krzyzewski, Duke: “I thought our team played well. And no one got hurt.”
Translation: I thought our team played well. And no one got hurt.

Todd Bozeman, Morgan State: “Obviously, the best team won.”
Translation: We lost to Oklahoma, 82-54. It wasn’t that close.

Jim Boeheim, Syracuse: “The only disappointment was when they went zone. We looked like we didn’t know what we were doing. We play some zone ourselves, so we should have been a little better.”
Translation: No team in the country plays more zone than we do. How can these guys not know how to attack a zone? What are we, Clemson?

Bruce Pearl, Tennessee: “We played against a really good team, one of the better teams we played in a few weeks.”
Translation: None of the stiffs we played in the SEC prepared us for this.

Al Skinner, Boston College: “Basically, the game was decided in the second half, and we did not execute as well as we needed to.”
Translation: Why should today be any different than the rest of the season?

Jeff Capel, Oklahoma: “I’m really, really proud of my team. They were terrific.”
Translation (supplied by John Beilein, Michigan): Oklahoma is terrific.

Thad Matta, Ohio State: Well, it was odd … we were never … I didn’t feel we were ever mentally out of 50 minutes in the game the way we needed to be tonight. And I don’t know if it was … I’m not sure what it was … we didn’t do what we’re supposed to do.
Translation: Say what, now?

Matt Painter, Purdue: “I think, in terms of the game, anytime you lead the whole game and you never give up that lead, I think that’s important.”
Translation: See how I’ve put my Purdue education to work? I’ve discovered the formula for victory.