Where were you and the team for the NCAA Tournament bracket release and what was the reaction from everyone in the room?
“We got back here a little after five and we met at my house at 5:40 p.m. and watched the show at the house. The reaction was…it was unusual. I don’t mind telling you that I was stunned when I saw North Carolina in the No. 8. I was stunned so then it took me a couple of seconds to say hey that’s us. It’s not somebody else that’s us. So then everybody clapped but North Carolina is never going to have one of those tremendous celebrations because we expect to be there. Those tremendous celebrations come from teams who don’t think they’re going to make it or haven’t been there very often and now they make it kind of thing. It was good. We had good food and we talked about our plans and let them go.”
Where did you think UNC would be seeded in the tournament?
“I said in the release I was disappointed for our league. Two 2’s and two 8’s. I didn’t think that was good for our league and didn’t think it was necessarily fair for our league. You’ve heard me say this a hundred times. It’s what it is so we’ve got to go play.”
Comments on thoughts to Kansas being placed as a potential matchup in the third round:
“You know it’s the same kind of thing. You say 'wow.' I’m thinking about Villanova. I really am. It was a surprise being No. 8. And it was a little surprising going to play in Kansas City if we win one game. If you start thinking about playing Kansas in Kansas City you forget about the biggest duty and that’s to win a game to even get there.”
Further thoughts on treatment of the ACC by the NCAA committee:
“Everything you say right now gets blown out of proportion. Everybody says you’re whining and all that stuff. You’ve still got to frickin’ play. Did I like it? No. Did I think it was fair? No. Those guys that get in the room they get to make the decisions.”
Do you believe the ACC should change it’s scheduling to look more like the Mountain West this season in playing more division II schools to help with RPI?
“I think the RPI is beneficial if that committee member wants it to be beneficial. Our RPI is 17 or 18 or something like that. They’ve got a thousand things they can use what they want to use. I think the RPI at one point was probably more important than it is now. Again guys, our RPI was 17, 18 or something like that. I’m good in math divide that by four it doesn’t get that eight.”
How do you think your teams matches up with Villanova?
“I watched a little bit of tape last night. I don’t have a very good opinion of it yet. Coach Robinson started working on Sunday night. We’ll give the team a scouting report tomorrow. We’ll work today just on our stuff. I’ve know Jay (Wright) for a long time. He really does a nice job. We’ve played twice in the NCAA Tournament. One of them was a great very close game. The other one was a great game just for us. Anybody that beats Louisville, Georgetown, Marquette, and Syracuse down the stretch that’s pretty doggone impressive. You’ve got to understand that.”
Do you buy into the fact that the committee doesn’t set up games based on matchups and television ratings?
“I’m not much of a buyer right now guys. They can say anything that they want to say and they’ve got numbers to substantiate it. You can sit right across the table from them and they can substantiate with some other numbers. I’ll say this they don’t put North Carolina at Kansas City to fill the arena. The arena is going to be full anyway even if Kansas plays slippery rock. I don’t know what goes through their minds. It was a confusing show and I am still confused and I’m a fairly intelligent person.”
Were you surprised with P.J. Hairston’s toughness throughout the ACC Tournament?
“I wasn’t surprised that he played. He hurt his knee freshman year and oh my gosh you couldn’t walk within fifteen feet of him because he was jumping around like crazy and everything. Later on, he became very tough. It was the first time he had ever been hurt. It didn’t surprise me but it was the kind of thing where I was very pleased about it. As you get older you do understand that you can handle more things.
"Part of P.J.’s whole thing is maturity understanding that, 'yeah this hurts, but I’m going to be okay.' Sunday I thought he really played well. He shot the ball well and did a lot of other things very well for us. I’m not going to use the word surprised. I’d say pleased but a lot of it is maturity. Guys mature a great deal from their freshman to sophomore year and the same amount or even more from sophomore to junior year, too.”
Comments on congratulating Miami in their locker room after winning the ACC Tournament Championship:
“I wish there wouldn’t have been any cameras in there because I just wanted to say something to them. They’re really a good team and you think North Carolina and Duke get so much attention and everybody says they always have a chance. This is another team from the ACC that really has a chance. I love watching them play and I hate playing against them.”
Did your team give their best shot Sunday against Miami?
“I hope not. Coach always wants more. We made some crucial mistakes those last four minutes of the game that were big time mistakes. We hope that we can do better there.”
Does P.J. Hairston provide a bit of an edge and grit to this UNC team?
“I think the toughness part was there this weekend but what he provides a team isn’t an emotional thing to me. It’s the ability to shoot daggum ball in the basket. When a shot goes in everybody is more enthused. He doesn’t say nearly as much as Reggie (Bullock) or some of those other guys but people feed off of good play. Good play gives your teammates even more strength and more positive feelings.”
Comments on handling the opening game of the NCAA Tournament:
“We’re going to try to do it the same way we always do it. None of these guys know what the heck happened twenty four years ago. There’s a reason. They weren’t even alive. We’re going to try and approach it the same way that we always have. I’ve been in an 8-9 game at least once before. I’ve been on one end when you’ve had to plan an eight nine and even lost so there’s not a lot of scenarios our staff hasn’t been through. And there’s not a lot of scenarios our players have been through because we’re so young. So they just have to stick with us and do the same thing.”