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March 7, 2018

Kevin Keatts

Omer Yurtseven

New York, New York

Boston College - 91, NC State - 87.

KEVIN KEATTS: Guys, I want to congratulate Boston College. I thought they did a tremendous job, especially in the first half. When you look at those guards, I thought they played extremely well tonight. Not only did they score for themselves, but they did a great job of getting everybody involved.

I thought we had -- I thought we were a little slow getting started. Obviously we got in a big deficit early, and we had to battle back at halftime. We talked about obviously staying the course, and I felt like if our guys stayed the course, and obviously we made some shots, we would get back in the game because I thought our press could get us back in the game. And certainly we did and put ourselves in a situation to be able to win the game at the end.

Very unfortunate, I think those guys in the locker room battled extremely hard, obviously, for the win, and came up a little bit short.

I'll take questions.

Q. Kevin, you guys tied the game five times but were never able to get ahead. How important was that to try to get that lead and make them come back on you?
KEVIN KEATTS: Well, it was important. You know, they had an answer and they did a good job. Every time we made a basket, they would come down and make a basket. If you were a fan, the last three minutes of the game was pretty exciting. For us, we just couldn't get over the hump.

Q. How tough is it to face two guards like Jerome Robinson and Ky Bowman, and what do they do that makes them so difficult to guard?
KEVIN KEATTS: They're good players. When you look at it, both of those guys can -- they're very good at getting into the paint. They can score from all three levels because those guys can finish around the rim. They're very good at free-throw shooting when you foul them, and then both of them shoot very well behind the arc. Very good players. I've said this before, could be arguably the best backcourt in the ACC.

Q. You spent the past few years coaching in a league where the conference tournament sort of determined if you kept playing. In the ACC, there's a good chance that you'll be playing even after you've lost this time. What's the difference in mentality for coaching in one of those leagues versus coaching in a league where you don't need this to extend your season?
KEVIN KEATTS: Yeah, I think the approach is the same. You know, you don't -- obviously you go into every game expecting to win the game. We obviously went into this game with the expectation that we were going to win and we were going to advance. It's a little different because you're right, when you went to -- last year when I was at UNCW, we had won 28 games, and I knew if I didn't win that championship game, there was a good chance that I might not make any postseason play. So it's a little bit different. But I think as far as your preparation and you're mentally prepared for it, with our team, we're prepared to win every game.

Q. How will you approach Selection Sunday? Where will you guys watch it, and how confident are you that you'll hear your name called on Sunday?
KEVIN KEATTS: Well, we'll get together as a team. We haven't decided, obviously, where we're going to watch it, but I'm excited about our team. Our body of work is pretty good when you think about what we've done in a short amount of time and look at winning -- beating five top-25 teams and winning on the road and a couple wins against the No. 2 team in the country.

So I'm excited about it. You know, I'm excited for these guys for the opportunity.

Q. As you go back home and reset for the next tournament, do you put this out of your mind and just flush it, or do you keep it in mind and kind of use it as motivation?
OMER YURTSEVEN: I definitely use it as a motivation. These type of losses hurt, and you've got to use that pain basically as energy for your next opponent.

Q. When y'all tied it late, we looked it up, and if you had won this game, it would have tied the biggest halftime deficit comeback in the history of the 65-year-old ACC Tournament. I know you're disappointed, but can you take something from what you saw and what was almost a record-tying come back?
KEVIN KEATTS: Yeah, I wish you would have dropped a little note to me so we could know that.

You know, I told the guys that the next opportunity that we have to play a game, it's going to be the last time that the seniors get a chance to play together. We cannot have the start that we had -- we didn't have a great first half. I challenged these guys at halftime, and obviously they responded. I thought they did a tremendous job.

For whatever reason, we didn't play extremely well to start the game. But what we'll take from this is that when it's one-and-done, you've got to play the entire game. You've got to finish games. And obviously we didn't do a great job starting, and I thought we finished the game.

But we were right there to win the game, and certainly it would have been a great win for us.

Q. Omer, you had most of your points in the second half; what kind of adjustments did you make coming out of halftime that let you do so well in the second half?
OMER YURTSEVEN: I would say I just kept shooting. That was the mentality. I just made the regular shots that I would. They didn't fall down in the first half, but I just stuck with it.

Q. Kevin, how big a deal was it to have Torin get two fouls so quickly, only play like four minutes in the first half? Seemed like he was really active on the boards early, and then the energy kind of went down when he went out.
KEVIN KEATTS: Yeah, it changes our team. Obviously we've been a little bit more successful when we've got a four-guard rotation for the majority of the ACC play, and it changed us a little bit. Malik, I thought Malik came in and did a good job, but certainly he got in foul trouble. But it definitely changes you.

Q. Kevin, what happened there at the end? What did you see, and what was the explanation?
KEVIN KEATTS: On which part?

Q. On the technical.
KEVIN KEATTS: Oh, you know, Markell Johnson got caught into a motion. The one thing that we try to do as a staff is we try to tell them how many timeouts we have and whose possession because we're always a trapping team, and if it's our possession, then certainly we'll take a tie-up because we'll take a possession. And he's not to blame on it. He made a play. I wanted him to get to the hole with obviously seven seconds to go, and then obviously get back into our defense and try to get a steal and quick foul, and he just got caught up in the motion.

I didn't see it, but I'm assuming that he called a time-out.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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