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Ashway: NCAA Tournament 'coachspeak' returns!
Denton Ashway
DENTON ASHWAY

Today we celebrate the return of March Madness.

Welcome to the latest installment of Tournament Coachspeak from the 32 opening-round games. Here’s what the coaches had to say after their games, and what they really wanted to say. All quotes taken from the NCAA post-game press conferences, with transcripts provided by asapsports.com.

Dennis Gates, Cleveland State: Well, my hat is off to Coach Sampson and the University of Houston. I truly believe that team is a No. 1 seed.

Translation: I can’t believe we lost by 31.

Matt Langel, Colgate: After we got a significant lead in the first half, they really made a conscious decision to turn up the defensive intensity. I feel bad that I didn’t have our guys prepared for that part of what Arkansas did.

Translation: No one’s prepared to end the first half on the short end of a 17-0 run.

Zach Spiker, Drexel: I thought the quality of our shots were not as good as they had been throughout the season.

Translation: We didn’t get here shooting 30% from the field.

Brad Underwood, Illinois: They’re really hard to guard. I thought our guys’ focus on that end of the court was very, very good.

Translation: We held them to 30% from the field.

Josh Pastner, Georgia Tech: Losing stinks. End of the year stinks. We have a lot to keep our head high. Give Loyola of Chicago a lot of credit.

Translation: I can’t believe we lost. We play in the ACC, America’s premier basketball conference.

John Gallagher, Hartford: They present problems in a lot of areas.

Translation: Our two dozen turnovers presented big problems.

Chris Holtman, Ohio State: I think we had no illusions that this was going to be, uh, by any stretch, anything other than a really challenging game, and it obviously was from the very jump.

Translation: We were challenged at the free-throw line. We missed nine and lost by three.

Wayne Tinkle, Oregon State: This has been a special run.

Translation: Pick us to finish last in the Pac-12, will you? Let me tell you this: We’re going to the Sweet 16!

Brad Brownell, Clemson: I thought the difference in the game, in the second half they got some extra rebounds. A lot of those led to some easy baskets.

Translation: I can’t believe we lost. We play in the ACC, America’s premier basketball conference.

Craig Smith, Utah State: They’re an elite defensive team, and we knew that coming in. The turnover battle was going to be a big thing.

Translation: We had 22 of ‘em.

Roy Williams, North Carolina: I apologize for blowing my nose in public, but I’m a little emotional at times, and the last game is extremely emotional.

Translation: I can’t believe we lost. We play in the ACC, America’s premier basketball conference.

Mark Pope, BYU: They caused us all kinds of problems, and played through it, got the win.

Translation: Our biggest problem was missing 14 of 17 threes.

Mick Cronin, UCLA: It’s not easy to defend BYU. It’s actually extremely hard.

Translation: We held them to 3 of 17 on threes.

Bryce Drew, Grand Canyon: They shot the mess out of the ball tonight.

Translation: They looked like me against Ole Miss in ’98.

Mike White, Florida: Great win for us.

Translation: We beat a team from the ACC, America’s premier basketball conference.

Rick Pitino, Iona: We thought we could beat Alabama, to be honest with you.

Translation: I honestly didn’t think we’d get outrebounded, 42-26.

Darien Devries, Drake: That zone really bothered us.

Translation: We shot 29%. We couldn’t have fallen out of a boat and hit water.

Jim Boeheim, Syracuse: Things went our way tonight.

Translation: I’m glad we could uphold the honor of the ACC, but, you know, at heart I’m still a Big East guy.

Shaka Smart, Texas: Just really feel for our guys, because up until tonight we had a phenomenal season, and this obviously isn’t the way any of us envisioned it ending.

Translation: Nothing could have tarnished our season more than losing to Abilene Christian.

Joe Golding, Abilene Christian: Little ol’ Abilene Christian, out in west Texas, built a program that went toe-to-toe with the University of Texas, and it’s an incredible story. It’s what March is about.

Translation: None needed.