Listen to Audio (6:37)
"Needless to say we're ecstatic, a great basketball game. We also realize we were very fortunate that Duke missed a lot of shots that they make most of the time, but, a great, great night for us. I always write three things on the board before every game. Tonight the first one was 'attack, attack, attack and be under control when we did it.' I thought that was what got us off to such a good start because we did attack, we were in a bit of a frenzy a couple of times, we took some weird shots and we didn't make any of those in the first half. I think that the mode we were in to attack was really helpful to us. I didn't look at the score from probably the 10-minute mark in the first half down to half, so to look up there and be up 24.
"I told our guys in the locker room that Duke's been down 20 at least once this year and came back and won the game, so we had to try to play a great second half and not forget what we were doing. I don't think we really forgot what we were doing, I don't think we got as tentative. Reggie [Bullock] lost the ball driving down the lane, so he was being aggressive. Harrison [Barnes] tried to go down the lane, he charged, he was trying to be aggressive. Kendall [Marshall] missed two lay ups, so he was being aggressive.
"Duke really focused on going inside, and they did a great job of getting the ball to their big guys, the bad news is they made a bunch of them; the good news is they were adding two at a time instead of three. I felt like they could make a run, I never like to tell our guys they're going to make a run because if you play maybe they don't. I did look at the clock a couple times in the second half; I don't think it ever got under 11. But at that stage you just got to keep attacking, you have no chance of beating Duke if you don't score. I know that sounds silly, but you got to be aggressive, all coaches love guys who play defense, but Duke is so good offensively, you got to be willing to score a lot of points."
On what Carolina did differently defensively when Duke was trying to make runs:
"There's no question that we had an emphasis the last three or four days to try to have a better balance instead of 42 points from three for them and three for us, that's a 39 points difference at our place. We still were one possession away from winning the game. I tried to match 3 point shot for 3 point shot. We really emphasized how they scored their threes. They shot 36 threes and I took every one of them and I analyzed them and said what happened on every one of those 36 plays. We showed the team every one of those 36 plays. Some of them we just stared at the guy shooting the ball, five of them went under the screen, four of them we went under the double-screen, so yea we did try to emphasize that."
On Kendall Marshall's performance:
"The good thing is, and I told him this, he can play a heck of a lot better because he made some bonehead plays in there, but 20 points and 10 assists, and I don't know how the official scorer scored it but the one he shot over the basket that [Tyler Zeller] rebounded was a pass. He was really big for us to say the least, he made a couple shots, he's having a heck of a year. Tonight it was about North Carolina's team and everyone did some good things."
On Tyler Zeller:
"You watch him during warm up, there was not one smile on that young man. There was not one second where he wasn't focused. He went out to jump at the opening tip and there wasn't a doubt in my mind that he was 100 percent into that game. Here's a guy who is the Academic All-American Player of the Year, and that's pretty impressive and you look down there and he is 9-of-11 with 19 points 10 rebounds, that means a pretty daggum good basketball player."
Listen to Audio (4:39)
On UNC jumping out to a large lead early:
"We actually watched a lot of tape from last year on we got out early. Just running transition and whether it was Kendall making the play, the post getting it inside or the wings running out and getting open shots. So we definitely tried to push the break and get as many open looks as we could."
Did you flick your ear toward the fans after the game? What was that about?
"They were so loud and enthusiastic all game and I was just wondering if that was going to continue. They didn't seem too happy; a little quiet. It's unfortunate for them. It's really unfortunate."
Listen to Audio (3:29)
On winning the regular season championship:
"It feels very good. I'd say this is the best feeling I've had, either this one or last year when we won at home. It's probably a little better this time being on the road, but we felt like they took one from us back at Carolina. So we didn't just want to come in here and win, we wanted to come in here and make a statement."
Did this team prove something tonight?
"I think so. We proved what kind of team we have the potential to be. Now we have to be able to come out and play like we played for the most part for a full 40 minutes. Once we do that, I think we're going to be very tough to beat."
Listen to Audio (4:05)
What does it mean to you to win this championship?
"It means a lot. Any time you can win a championship it means a lot, but being able to end your regular season like this is an extraordinary feeling and it's something I'll remember forever."
On how UNC was able to build a large lead early:
“You’ve just got to be as aggressive as possible. If you’re coming out and making shots – I think we shot a very high [percentage] in the first half – it’s always a plus.”
Listen to Audio (10:22)
"Well, they were terrific. We were overwhelmed in the first half. They just played beautiful basketball. They were so efficient. They are a great team. They are not a good team. They are a great team. They played well. They played like it most of the season. I think what happens to us, we had some good looks in the first half, not that it would have cut down a 24-point lead by them. Our motto still is when we don't shoot well, we become a better defensive team. Their talent and our demeanor is a bad mix after we miss. You got to be a lot tougher because they are so good.
"[Kendall] Marshall is sensational. What a performance by that kid. He just had a magical year for him. He stirs the drink real well. In the second half, I thought we played a lot better. [We had] a couple of times to put ourselves into position to get a down into single digits. [We] missed free throws, not that it we would win, but it would have made it a little bit more interesting. So again, it is the end of the regular season. I am proud of our guys. [We are] 13-3 and 26-5. The better team won. My hats off to them for winning the regular season [and to] their class group. Now everyone is zero and zero again. We got to regroup and learn from the 31 games, and try to get refresh this week to go down to Atlanta and win some more before the NCAA tournament."
On Zeller's performance:
"Zeller has had a Player of the Year performance. I think First Team All-American type of year. The kid is a great player and great kid. He never seems to get tired. He has an amazing physical presence. He puts so much pressure on you the way he runs the floor, and inside, he is just a high percentage shooter. He is a great college player, and I think he would be a really good pro too. But I am not a pro coach, so we can all decide on that, but I tell you, he is a great college player. He has had a Player of the Year performance. His team has won the league, and he has shown up every night on a real high level."
On UNC playing screens to take away the three-point shot:
"Well I thought they played really good defense. I did think we had good looks though. But again, when you base your offense like we do on three-point shooting, you know some say don't, but that is who we are man. That is who we are, and if we are not hitting them, then, we have a much greater chance to lose. Their defense on the ball screen I think was very good. They played us until the end. They were terrific."