Welcome to late winter in Erie County.
From Mike Krzyzewski at Duke to Jay Wright at Villanova to Roy Williams at North Carolina, the best coaches are the constants in college basketball. It doesn't bother anybody. "You can't just blow them out. It doesn't affect anybody".
All it meant was a few extra hours in the team hotel. Sophomore T.J. Comizio says, "I don't know about no question".
The Wildcats had failed to get past the first weekend in four consecutive NCAA appearances, and that was all they heard about before their six-game title run.
"We watched a movie together".
Mount St. Mary's, meanwhile, advanced to this round by beating Southland Conference champion New Orleans 67-66 Tuesday night in the First Four in Dayton, marking the second NCAA tournament win for the Mount as a Division I school. I was just so happy to be coaching. The Mountaineers didn't play in many lined games this year, but they did go 4-3 at the betting window in the seven games they did play.
While Robinson has been capturing the attention of cameras and grabbing headlines after that New Orleans game, Mount St. Mary's is far from a one-man show. Right now, it's not about me going out there and getting 20. "It is what it is".
Villanova shouldn't have much trouble dispatching Mount St. Mary's, but the Mountaineers may be due to snap the 16-seed curse. While Purdue big men Caleb Swanigan and Isaac Haas combined for 42 points (on just 23 shots) against Villanova back in November, the play of Hart and Brunson was enough to keep the team afloat in a 79-76 victory.
That focus, as always, is the next game. That's likely not going to change in the Tournament, so knocking down their shots becomes of even more importance if they hope to pull off an upset. "We're able to get away and be by ourselves. That's fun. We want to compete because this is the game we love".
According to KenPom, they turn the ball over on 19.2 percent of their possessions, which is good for 238th in the country.
The three times Villanova went down this year-twice to Butler and once to Marquette-they fell victim to a combination of poor shooting, defensive breakdowns and struggles rebounding. "That's really the only thing we can really embrace".
And so, after practice, it was back to the hotel where the Wildcats grabbed a bite to eat and relaxed in their recovery boots, which are compression devices that are created to relieve soreness in the legs and improve circulation.
Both of these teams have excellent players at the top of their rosters, but when picking the best, my choice is Villanova, as they have the best chance to be the champions of the NCAA Tournament yet again this year.
"Because he's a great motivator, he knows how to push everyone, he knows how to make everyone better, and he expects greatness from each and every last person here, from the manager to the walk-on to the seniors, freshmen, everybody that works in the basketball office, he expects greatness from everyone, and he accepts nothing less than that", Jenkins said.