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March 29, 2015

Wayne Blackshear

Montrezl Harrell

Rick Pitino


Michigan State - 76
Louisville - 70

COACH PITINO: Any time you're in the Elite Eight, just that word "elite" defines the eight teams. Any time you lose in overtime, it's a heartbreaker. It's very difficult for all the players. But real proud of our guys. We had a difficult second half, but sometimes this can be misleading. Because when you get fouled, it doesn't show up in the shooting percentage. We're trying to drive it hard, because we're not a great shooting team. Not that we should have gotten the calls, but we didn't. We've got to give them credit. We almost came back and won the game. We're a free throw away from winning the game, which would have been amazing. We're real proud of our guys. We ran a trap at the end. It worked for us, and we didn't get a rebound. They got a putback. Congratulations to Tom and Michigan State. Tough loss. These two guys, we'll miss them greatly. Wayne was throwing up at halftime like no player I've ever seen. He still came back and fought it pretty hard. Nose bleeds, throwing up. Real proud of both guys. It's a bitter, bitter pill to swallow because we all had some big dreams.

Q. Question for Wayne: Can you kind of take us through what you're feeling right now.
WAYNE BLACKSHEAR: I get to look back and say I had a great career. I played with a lot of great players in my four years here. I won a National Championship, went to a Final Four. There's nothing else I can say.

Q. Montrezl, kind of a similar question to you. Few people go through something like this. What are the thoughts and emotions?
MONTREZL HARRELL: It just hurts a lot. We all had one goal coming into this tournament, and when you lose an overtime game the way we lost it, when we're one possession away from winning, it's pretty tough. It just hurts. Looking around the locker room, just seeing the guys down. We've been up so many times in the game. Our season is over. Just got to go on.

Q. You guys in the second half had a hard time making field goals from the floor. Were you getting the shots that you were hoping to get, or did they make any defensive adjustments to make things more tough on you?
WAYNE BLACKSHEAR: I think we got away from what was getting us buckets in the first half. I mean, we got away from our offense for a while, and just started going one-on-one and not going to the offensive glass.

MONTREZL HARRELL: I would have to agree with him. We got away from what we were doing in the first half. We were shooting a great percentage in the first half. Running our offense and getting through our plays. When we started trying to go one-on-one in the second half, it hurt us. We started losing guys on defense and had defensive breakdowns, and it caused us to lose the game.

Q. Rick, this is the first time you've lost an Elite Eight game in overtime. But '92 you were 39 years old and you were building. How does this feel different when you're that close and your team played as hard as it did?
COACH PITINO: Sometimes it can be a cruel game. I was positive we were going to win it when the first free throw went in, because it shouldn't have gone in. We're going to win this thing. We set up the trap. Then we missed it and went into overtime, still excited. The difference in the game. We got away from our ball movement a little bit and trying to go one-on-one. One team could really shoot it, and the other team struggled. That's the bottom line. It's my job to go out there and replace these guys with some shooters. That's our number one objective. It's always tough. It's a bitter pill to swallow because the Final Four is so special. You see last night, I'm sure Notre Dame feels the same way; they thought they had it. We thought we had it. But the thing that impresses me most, they had total momentum, and we came back and had a chance to win it. That speaks volumes to me of a terrific basketball team with great heart.

Q. You guys did a great job on Dawson the whole game. Just the basketball gods thing, karma thing, he ends up making the basket that decides the game.
COACH PITINO: Tom is one of the big time-out coaches, even if you're playing zone at the end. What we did is try to take the play away with the trap in, and we didn't react to go get the ball. A couple of times we brought the ball down when we got a rebound. They slapped it out on the offensive end, and the guards didn't rotate there. Give them credit. Our kids played a winning game, and they played a winning game, and they came away making the shots they had to make.

Q. Rick, I'll ask you the same question: You guys didn't really have much trouble scoring in the first half. After halftime, just not getting the looks you were hoping for? Did they make defensive adjustments?
COACH PITINO: I told the guys at halftime it was the same situation as the last game. Their coach is tearing the paint off the walls, and we've got to stay offensively aggressive. The first three plays we tried to go one-on-one, and we broke down. Then we got back two and got fouled. Look, our backcourt had a bad night. Any time you have a bad night, you have to say, credit to the defense. So many times people try to pinpoint a guy's misses. It's just good defense that they were playing. Terry Rozier's gotten to the rim all those times in the past, and gotten fouled and made it. It's just one of those nights where they weren't going in. So credit their defense for that.

Q. Coach, you mentioned Wayne being sick at halftime. Can you just talk about the effort he gave you coming back out and hitting some big shots.
COACH PITINO: Yeah, I've never seen anything like that at halftime. He was upchucking like I've not seen a person. What we think happened is he uses an inhaler for asthma, and he took too much, and it got him sick. He responded and came back. He had a great night. He's had a very good season. He had a great night tonight. He got through it. We had to battle certain issues there, but he got through it. Thanks for the coverage, guys.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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