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March 17, 2017

Kevin Willard

Madison Jones

Angel Delgado

Greenville, South Carolina

Arkansas - 77, Seton Hall - 71

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard and student-athletes Angel Delgado and Madison Jones.

Q. Angel, you and Moses kind of battled the entire game. Coming down in those final minutes, what was the difference this time?
ANGEL DELGADO: I don't know what to tell you. We just was playing hard, and we both battled, let's say.

Q. Madison, obviously you've been around a while. You've played a lot of college basketball. A call like that, do you feel that maybe the call on Desi, do you think that maybe intent should be looked at maybe more than the letter of the law?
MADISON JONES: I mean, whatever the ref's decision was I guess that's what he believed was right. When they replayed and looked at it, they made the call that they thought was right.

Q. Angel and Madison, considering the season you had and the game that you played for most of this game with an eight-point lead, how difficult is this to swallow the way the game ended?
MADISON JONES: It's definitely difficult for me especially being the last game I'll play. But I'm still proud of our team and what we accomplished this year. And I can't thank everybody enough.

ANGEL DELGADO: I think we played an unbelievable year. Everybody played good all year. This is how is the game -- somebody win, somebody lose, that's how it is.

Q. To only score three points in the final six, seven minutes, anything you can pinpoint on to what happened during the end of the game?
MADISON JONES: We just had a few costly turnovers down the stretch that cost us, but other than that, that's pretty much.

ANGEL DELGADO: Got a lot of turnovers the last six minutes but that's how the game ends. We just gotta take care of the ball more.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach.

Q. Kevin, what can you say about the way -- I mean, just the way -- you guys had an eight-point lead and it just kind of dissipated? Is there anything in particular you can point your finger at that happened down the stretch for you guys?
COACH WILLARD: I think the free-throw line really hurt us a little bit. We had a couple of times where they had, it was 66-58, if I'm right, Kingsley gets fouled, makes two free throws.

We missed two, I think it was. They come down and hit two really tough shots. I thought it was two teams battling and playing really hard.

We had our opportunities. We missed a couple. We missed an offensive rebound. We missed a tip-in. We missed a little bank shot. We had our opportunities. You've just got to give them credit. They played really well.

Q. Have you had a chance to see the replay of the foul and your thoughts on it?
COACH WILLARD: Yeah, I mean I just watched it. You know, I thought the three guys tonight did a really good job. It was a physical, athletic game. I think it's one of those things you've got to, if you've been around the game long enough you've got to know time, score, you've got to know what's going on.

It's an NCAA Tournament game. I think you really gotta understand what's going on. But they reffed a good game all night. So I can't really complain about whether I agree or not. I'm always going to disagree with it. That's what coaches do.

Q. On that last possession, before the flagrant foul was called, there was a replay circulating now online of the Arkansas player taking three steps before dribbling and then the flagrant foul is called on the other end. Just your thoughts on those two -- the one non-call and then that call against you guys?
COACH WILLARD: That's part of the game. We shouldn't have been in that situation, to be honest with you. We were up one with the ball with 1:20 left, I think, somewhere in that range. We turn it over, we come down, miss a layup.

So it's one of those things. We should never have put ourselves in that situation. We had a chance, if we just take care of the ball with 1:20 left. You don't want to leave it to other people. We had the chance.

We talked about that in the timeout, under-four timeout, learning from the Villanova game and finishing off games. I'm a big believer if somebody comes in reaches behind somebody and gets the ball, it's physically impossible to reach behind somebody and back tip a ball. It happened twice. I think that's my only complaint that I would have about officiating was, I just don't think it's humanly possible for someone to reach behind somebody and back-tip a ball.

I have pretty long arms, I know I can't do it. Maybe they have extra super long arms and can do it. But, again, I thought the game was tremendously officiated. But those are the kinds of things, that's the only thing I disagree with.

Q. Just a variation of the question I asked the players, given the season that you had, this group of guys, how difficult was it to see it end this way?
COACH WILLARD: It's always going to end. It's always difficult when it ends. I think this group of guys, this team, a lot of people doubted what this team could do, what they can get, especially when Z went to the draft. I think every one of these kids stepped up, improved their game. I think Myles Powell had a phenomenally freshman year.

It's always difficult when it ends. But, man, I'm super proud of where these guys have brought this program and getting back to the tournament, back to back, for the first time since '93 and '94. I like the direction that these guys are going, and we'll learn from this and we'll bounce back. That's kind of what we've always done.

Q. Kevin, just the emotions for you last year compared to this year. Last year was disappointing. This year probably goes down -- maybe after the Western Kentucky and Michigan, Seton Hall losses -- as one of the probably hardest to take. Just for you at getting so close to winning a tournament game, what's it feel like?
COACH WILLARD: It's tough. I'm not going to lie to you. It's tough. To have the kids play -- it's not about me. College basketball is not about me. I think it's going to be extremely difficult for these guys and how hard they worked, the hours and the travel, everything.

I feel for these kids because they've really bought in to each other. They bought into the program. I'm going to wake up tomorrow morning and I'll do what I do on Saturdays, is go to my son's basketball game.

These kids, college basketball is about the kids, it's about the student-athletes. It's about their emotions and I'm just so proud of what they've done for this program. It's going to be tough for them. It's hard when you lose and you have a game. But that's hoops, man. That's ball. It's life. You've got to bounce back, and I've got a lot of confidence in these guys, how we'll do and how we'll bounce back next year.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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