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March 19, 2016

Brad Underwood

Brooklyn, New York

Q. Brad, a different round and different game and different challenge because you go from a team that pressed you a whole bunch and wants to speed it up and play on defense, and now you've got a great offensive team that shoots the threes and drives to the goal. So just talk about the challenge Notre Dame presents on offense.
BRAD UNDERWOOD: Well, they present a lot. From an efficiency standpoint, they're one of the best teams in America. Everything starts with them at the point guard spot. They've got an all league performer in Jackson. And it is a different mindset from the standpoint that press Virginia, tremendous full court defense, and yet from an offensive standpoint, completely different styles and different systems.

We didn't see many ball screens last night. Tomorrow night we'll see ball screens at every angle and coming from different parts of the floor.

I've got a tremendous staff. They've done an unbelievable job of preparation, and we just got through practicing, and we'll have to be on point from a defensive standpoint tomorrow.

Q. Mike Brey said last night that you tried to get him on the schedule and he's told you no thanks, and now he's kind of forced into it. How difficult is it to get your team games against top quality opponents? This is a year where you played four, I think it was, non-Division I schools, and you obviously haven't played a power conference team up until last night for several months. What is it that -- in addition to the difficulty of scheduling, what is the difficulty in getting your team prepared for that step up in competition?
BRAD UNDERWOOD: I don't think we've ever concerned, ourselves and our program, with the name on the front of the jersey. We've been way beyond that. It's about our preparation. It's about our process. Scheduling is hard. That's why we're a 14 seed. This is my best basketball team that I've brought to the NCAA Tournament, and probably the most frustrating thing I've been through as a coach is scheduling. We were at the 13th of September and didn't have our schedule complete, and we played one Division I home game. Scheduling is very difficult. If you can imagine Power 5 schools playing one Division I home game things may change.

So preparation, I don't concern myself with. It's about us going out. We're a mature basketball team. We're a focused basketball team. I think we've grown. I think we are playing our best basketball. We really worry about the process. We shot 30 percent last night and found a way to win. So the process is being consistent and working.

Notre Dame's the next one on the schedule, and that's who we've got to prepare for.

Q. Notre Dame is going to be -- I don't know -- they want the flow to be free, and they want their guards with the ball to shoot threes, and they want to drive to the goal. Last night was just a different kind of game than that. You had to win ugly, shooting 30 percent. But just talk about how confident you are in your offense and maybe joining a game to where it's a free flow, about how you'll have to approach the game maybe differently.
BRAD UNDERWOOD: I think we approach every game differently. I think the one thing we try to do is I think we've been able to find ways to win in a variety of ways. Notre Dame poses a lot of problems. They're just different ones than what we faced the other night. Last night we were knocked off spots and we didn't get to the offensive glass like we usually do. We didn't have the flow that I want to run offense with. That was completely knocked out of kilter. The press did that. Notre Dame hasn't pressed a whole bunch what I've seen to this point. So the flow of the game will be different. We've got to adapt to that.

Like I said, Mike does as good a job as anybody in the country in creating flow for his offense, and their numbers show that.

Q. This is a little silly, but you're the coach of Stephen F. Austin, so I want to know Stone Cold or The Six Million Dollar Man?
BRAD UNDERWOOD: Stone Cold, baby. Stone Cold all the way.

Q. Brad, this is the second time you've been in the second round. UCLA were so big and just kind of took you out in that game in San Diego a couple of years back. Now you've got a game where you can get to the Sweet 16. You're a better team. Just talk about the stakes and how important it is for you to have your best game and get this and advance.
BRAD UNDERWOOD: Well, I don't think it has any -- Sweet 16, Elite Eight, the first round, I think the one thing we've done is try to simplify it. If you lose, you go home. It's really that simple. I don't want it for any of our guys. I was as nervous for our conference tournament finals -- I was more nervous for that than I was last night because we relish the opportunity to be here. We don't take it for granted.

And yet there's another opponent. They're one of the best 32 teams in the country. There's no question. That's why we're playing them. We feel we belong. And I think the opportunity is no different than it was two years ago. We've got a challenge. I hope we play better than we did two years ago against UCLA, but, again, they're a quality basketball team and a quality conference, and we're going to have to perform at our best.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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