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March 13, 2016

Yogi Ferrell

Max Bielfeldt

Nick Zeisloft

Bloomington, Indiana

Q. First of all, what were your thoughts?
YOGI FERRELL: We're really excited. This is another opportunity for us to go out and showcase what we've done all year, and felt pretty happy with where we were picked and just pretty excited.

MAX BIELFELDT: Yeah, a 5 seed, historically a lot of those 12 seeds are underrated and they pull out upsets. But I think with the mindset we've got all year, we've just got to be ready. When any team makes the tournament, you know they're good, especially a team with only five losses.

They're a talented team. They beat Dayton, at Georgia, at Illinois. They're definitely not going to get overlooked at all. You can't at this point of the year. You've got to give everything you've got scouting and learn them like the back of your hand.

Q. Were you prepared to be a 5 seed?
MAX BIELFELDT: I mean we know we're going to get put where we get put. You're going to have to play all the same teams to go where you want to go anyway. So whether you're 3, 4, 5, 10, 16 seed, doesn't matter to us, we're just going to try to beat whoever's in front of us.

Q. The Big Ten didn't seem like it got a lot of respect in terms of the seeding. Do you guys feel like that? Do you feel maybe the conference has a little bit of a chip on its shoulder?
NICK ZEISLOFT: I mean, seeding-wise it might look like that, but it's such a great conference anyways. We know it's a battle-tested conference, it's a great one, and teams are going to see that in the tournament.

YOGI FERRELL: I felt like we've got more guys on this team that are willing to fight for each other. I think that's the biggest thing and difference that I see is the desire, the pride to want to go out there and get a stop for our teammates, so I feel like this team is more connected. Last year's team, a little bit inexperienced with the NCAA tournament. But I've been in it, Max has been in it, so we can give a little bit of wisdom to these guys.

Q. What do you know about Chattanooga?
YOGI FERRELL: Well, we know they can score very well, averaging up to 77 points per game. They've got a Defensive Player of the Year for their conference, so they have a great all-around game, and we know they've got great guards that can score it. Their inside presence is very solid on defense, and they're a team that only has five losses, and we know they're a great team that can play together.

Q. What have you heard from people since you found out who you're playing?
MAX BIELFELDT: We've got a lot of people who definitely hand us things we didn't know. We don't exactly have access to that on our own, but we have the managers and all the guys do a great job telling us what we need to know and getting us prepared as far as scouting. I know they're up there working their butts off clipping videos from all the games they've played and find some areas of attack.

Q. What's the key ingredient to do well in March?
YOGI FERRELL: The key ingredient I would say play every game like it's your last. You never know what stop in the game is going to be the one for you to win the game. Just got to have the mindset, got to be connected. You've got to have great fundamentals. You've got to refine your fundamentals, refine your techniques and your concepts defensively because now it's just one-and-done.

Q. Max, what would you tell the young guys about what this whole thing is like?
MAX BIELFELDT: It's definitely one of a kind. You come to this kind of year, and the whole thing the way it's set up, it's not the NBA where you have seven games. It's one game. You have to come out and you have 40 minutes maybe more to prove yourself. You've got to make every minute count. However much pressure is on you, you can't break.

So you've got to be that team that can withstand more of the pressure than the other team. When things really get crazy instead of breaking you come closer together and you really just play as one offensively, defensively, and that's when you really get it going.

Q. Will it be hard not thinking about the potential matchup against Kentucky?
YOGI FERRELL: I don't think it will be very hard. We're going to prepare for Chattanooga just like Kentucky, and I feel like when we get to that game we'll be prepared for Kentucky. But right now all we're focused on is Chattanooga and just getting them down.

Q. Max, you've been a part of a run before; can you talk about that?
MAX BIELFELDT: Yeah, the teams I've been fortunate enough to be on had just that incredible spirit. So many games at this point, they don't call it March Madness for nothing. So many games at this point come down to the last possession and the last whatever three or four. You've just got to make sure that you make every one count. You can't lose focus in a game. You've got to execute. One less turnover or one more stop could be the difference.

As long as your team understands that and values the ball and still plays the game that you want to play, that's when you have a really dangerous team. I think if we stay focused and our mentality is where I think it will be after we get in the Big Ten tournament and the journey we've been on this season, I think we can be one of those teams that really just gets it going.

Q. What makes this team one that can make a run in the tournament?
MAX BIELFELDT: I'd say the biggest thing is everything we've been through this season. I think nothing that comes at us is going to be unexpected. I feel like we've been through just about every major scenario that you go through in a season. Like Notre Dame, whether you're down 16 or we've been through that and a hostile Duke crowd, we've been through that. We've gotten better from everything, wins and losses throughout the year.

No matter what happens I think as long as the young guys are wanting it as bad as the old guys and playing it like it's their last game and really just playing as hard as they can and staying connected at the same time, the five guys out there, and all the guys on the bench are connected, I think we can be really special.

Q. Can you talk about how hard it was not to be playing basketball this last weekend, but also what you guys learned?
NICK ZEISLOFT: Yeah, we definitely didn't play how we wanted to. We've seen the film, look slow at times. We've dissected it well today and yesterday. There are things we can learn. We realize that we were kind of out of character on some things and we can definitely get better at.

Q. Can you talk about coming down the stretch in your career and how you'll feel?
YOGI FERRELL: My feelings are especially high, and I'm going to be playing as hard as I've ever played probably in these games right here. I know I play hard, but especially for this one because I feel like our team definitely deserves it and we've worked so hard. Like Max said, everything we've been through. So emotions are very high. We're very excited and humbled by this moment, where we got picked and we've just got to go on with confidence.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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