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March 18, 2016

Fran McCaffery

Adam Woodbury

Jarrod Uthoff

Peter Jok

Brooklyn, New York

Iowa -72, Temple - 70

Q. Jarrod, I'm just curious, your offense gets a lot of the attention, but in a game like this, do you feel like your defense is almost like a more significant factor in determining the game? And how significant did that play a role in your mind in things like playing that free safety role and getting steals at those critical moments?
JARROD UTHOFF: Repeat the end of the question.

Q. Sure. Specifically, playing the free safety essentially and getting those steals, jumping into passing lanes at those critical moments.
JARROD UTHOFF: Defense is what wins championships. I mean, it's said so often. Defense fuels your offense a lot of times. So that's really what gets you started, and that's what wins the game for you. So if you focus primarily on offense, you forget about defense, and bad things happen for you.

Q. Adam, if you would, just describe those last few seconds, what you were seeing, what you thought, your instincts when the ball was released, everything.
ADAM WOODBURY: I mean, Coach always tells me get on the glass every possession. So I knew that, if he got it -- if Mike got a good look at it and it was a little long, I'd be able to get the offensive rebound. I was fortunate enough to put it in, and just one of those right place, right time kind of deals, and happy we got it in.

Q. Coach, just in terms of what I was discussing with Jarrod, his defensive role on this team, do you feel like it is as critical, more critical than even the offense he's provided for you, which obviously has been so significant all year?
FRAN MCCAFFERY: It's very important, obviously, when you have an all-league defensive player with that kind of length who can move his feet, we could put him on a variety of different people. Now, Temple's got various weapons. We could put him on DeCosey. We could put him on Obi. There's a lot of different guys we could put him on. Or like you said, we could just keep him out there. He's a rebounder. He's a steal guy. He's a shot blocker. He just effects the game with his length on the defensive end of the floor, which as he said, fuels our offense.

Q. Fran, in terms of when the lead is going away -- I mean, you had a great start. When the lead is going away, given the fact that the last month hasn't been filled with a lot of success, are you concerned at all about a psychological component setting in on your guys?
FRAN MCCAFFERY: No, unless I feel like we're coming apart. We just played 45 minutes and had three turnovers. We executed down the stretch as well as we have at any point in time in the last three years. We couldn't get a shot to go down. So if we're not coming apart at either end -- and what I'm seeing is a group that's fighting, that understands what we're trying to do, then I'm fine. I don't jump to any conclusions or worry because, if I'm worrying, then they're going to worry, and I don't want them to worry. And I thought they just kept battling. I was really proud of them.

You know, you look at the end of regulation, looked like we had it. Missed two back ends. They missed a number of shots. And you don't think Anthony is going to foul, but he did. And the kid still makes threes. So you've got to give them credit. They're a team that, if you watch them, which we have obviously the last three days, they come back. That's what they do. That's what Fran Dunphy's teams do. So you've got to keep coming back yourselves, and that's why I'm so proud of our guys.

Q. How tough is it to come back in the overtime after leading almost all of regulation and particularly down the stretch?
FRAN MCCAFFERY: I think the hardest thing, if you think about it -- okay, we jumped them in overtime. Well, they came back again, and they took the lead again. I think that's really hard. And that's why I have so much respect for how we kept fighting because we didn't shoot it well in overtime. But we did enough to win the game.

It never felt like we were out of it. Never stopped battling defensively. Never stopped attacking the glass. Obviously, we tipped one in at the buzzer. It's a great feeling as a coach to see your team be that resilient.

Q. Fran, can you talk about the intensity of this game? These two teams just went at one another with every single amount of energy. And you're a veteran coach. You saw Michigan State lose today. Just talk to us about how hard it is to win a basketball game in the NCAA Tournament today.
FRAN MCCAFFERY: I think you nailed it. I mean, you're absolutely right. It's really difficult. You're playing somebody that you haven't played on a neutral site. You're trying to figure them out in a short period of time, and we have consistently watched them win close games, come back in the second half to win close games. So you just want to make sure that your team is ready to do the same.

I thought -- when we lost a 12-point lead in the first half, our defense was not what it needed to be. That was about the only stretch where I could say, you know what, we didn't battle in that period of time the way we need to. Luckily, we were still up one at halftime.

So you see it every year. There's no such thing as an upset, and I mean that sincerely. I've had lower seeded teams that won. You've seen higher seeded teams lose. You just -- you have to be able to keep coming. And understand that, if anybody's going to advance, you're going to be in games like this one. You look at Providence last night. If they're going to keep going, you're going to win a game like that. They win at the buzzer. We won at the buzzer. Purdue loses in double overtime. Those things happen.

So you've got to make sure you have experienced guys that give your team a chance. And it was frustrating because we were running set plays that create shot opportunities and normally go in, and they didn't go in. So you give Temple credit, and you give our guys credit.

Q. In terms of what you guys got for the last shot of overtime, was that pretty far away from what you had wanted to get?
FRAN MCCAFFERY: We had something different in mind. But what happened down the stretch -- you can run any kind of picking action you want. They were switching everything. So when a team starts switching, we always say the X is on the O. So you have more space to drive the ball than you normally would. So you've got to drive the ball. Now, the last thing you want to do is dribble the clock out. So Mike got a shot up. Now, they don't have time, because we took the shot at the right time, they don't have time to run it back down your throat. So we're sending everybody. So it worked.

You drove it -- yeah, it wasn't what we designed, but Mike made the right play, and woody made the right play.

Q. Coach, what was going through your mind when you have a senior guard foul somebody on that three-point shot?
FRAN MCCAFFERY: Well, I felt bad for him. He wasn't trying to. Obviously, it wasn't the plan. Got to move on.

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