What they said about the weekend in hoops

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“I thought this team was going to get better and better as the season progressed, and I still believe that.”
North Carolina coach Roy Williams. His Heels improved to 15-5 with an 84-64 win vs. N.C. State.

“I played tonight because I cannot sit around too long. I knew my mother wouldn’t want me to sit around crying about it forever.”
Kansas forward Thomas Robinson, who played his first game since his mother’s funeral on Thursday.

“That’s why he hugged me at the end of the game. Four years of frustration.”
Penn State coach Ed DeChellis, whose team beat Wisconsin for the first time since 2003.

“He was exhausted, and I was on him like a new suit to try to play defense because he couldn’t breathe,” coach Rick Pitino said. “But we couldn’t go with the other guys. He had to gut it out.”
Louisville coach Rick Pitino on the performance of sophomore guard Peyton Siva during a win against UConn.

We talked about it in a staff meeting and I said, ‘I’ll guarantee you, they’re going to go for 35 (seconds) every time,’ and that’s exactly what they did.”
Ohio State coach Thad Matta on Northwestern’s slow-it-down tactics.

“Good defense beats good offense on any given night. That’s what we do.”
— Texas forward Gary Johnson. The Longhorns improved to 18-3 win a 71-58 win vs. Missouri.

“I felt like we were ready. The guys wanted to play this game. We wanted to be here but they came out from the jump ball and kicked our butts.”
— Duke’s Nolan Smith, reflecting on the 93-78 loss to St. John’s.

“Fredette, he’s a beast. What can say? Some of the shots that he made, I was looking at him in the game like, ‘Wow, did you just make that in my face?’ A player like that, you have to live and die just playing him one-on-one. If he makes a big shot, you have to go down to the other end and stay poised.”
New Mexico guard Dairese Gary, who “held” BYU’s Jimmer Fredette to 32 points during the Lobos’ win.

“You look at what is going on in our league over the last two weeks, when was the last time Syracuse lost four games in a row? You look it up, and you will see how hard it is.”
Marquette coach Buzz Williams after a 76-70 win against Syracuse.

“We’ve fallen into some bad habits. In this league . . . you pay for that.”
Villanova coach Jay Wright after a 69-66 loss to Georgetown.

“Anytime you lose a game like that, or a game in general, it sits with you for a while and you want to erase that feeling as quick as possible. We let one go against Ohio State, but we didn’t want to let this one go.”
— Purdue forward JaJuan Johnson, who helped the Boilermakers to a 73-61 win against Minnesota.

“Absolutely, it’s a great win,” Bruins coach Ben Howland said. “Absolutely, 100 percent. Every win is great. Every win is hard fought. Every win that you can get in the Pac-10 is a great win. Trust me.”
UCLA coach Ben Howland after a 73-72 win against Arizona State.

“I kept telling them I just need seven or eight guys that will do what I ask them to do seven or eight guys that will come in every day and play hard. We have a hard time scoring. We’ve got to rebound and give ourselves second chances.”
West Virginia coach Bob Huggins after a 66-55 win vs. Cincinnati.

“They’re really, really good. I was in the league as an assistant when Utah went to the Final Four (in 1998), and they’re better than (Utah was).”
— Wyoming coach Heath Schroyer, who watched the Cowboys lose 96-57 to San Diego State.

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