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March 14, 2014

Jamie Dixon

Lamar Patterson

James Robinson


Pittsburgh – 80
North Carolina - 75

COACH DIXON:  Thank you for being here.  I was really proud of our guys.  We came back and played hard obviously and played well and executed all the way through.  I was really excited about how we played.  Beat a very good team.
I felt after playing them down there, we got in foul trouble.  Talib wasn't healthy, Lamar wasn't healthy, I told our guys we went in expecting to win this game.  That was our thought process going into it and I thought our guys did a great job.
Obviously Talib 21 rebounds, 19points.  The glass, the rebounding was key.  We set that.  We won that rebounding by 15.  We only got it to 8.  I thought we did a great job battling.
Fought through some foul trouble obviously and some missed free throws down the stretch.  But we'll make them tomorrow, I'm very sure of that and confident about that, as we've been shooting them very well in recent games.  We're playing our basketball now as we've shown, and as I said yesterday, and we'll continue to do so tomorrow.

Q.  James, early in the game, you were more aggressive offensively than you had normally been the last few weeks.  You just wanted to set the tone and get your team off running?
JAMES ROBINSON:  Not really.  I think I just had open shots and I took them.  My teammates did a really good job finding me when I was open.  Obviously a lot of the defense was really keying on Lamar and Cam and they did a really good job finding the open players tonight.

Q.  Lamar, it looked like you were grabbing your wrist at one point.  Is it still bothering you at all?
LAMAR PATTERSON:  No.  It's fine.  It's all right.

Q.  For James and Lamar, how did the foul situation down the stretch affect how you guys (no audio feed)‑‑

Q.  Guys, can you talk about how the close games you were in this season prepared you, if at all, what you faced down the stretch and how much that benefitted you late in the season this year?
LAMAR PATTERSON:  It benefitted us.  Like I said today, usually we make our free throws, but today we wasn't that good at it.  It's good.  We know what we have to do.  We know we can't give up.  The games previously during the season that were close and that we lost and the ones that wetook stuff from each of them and we were able to close it out today.

Q.  UVA has been able to win even when Joe Harris has been off, but how much more dangerous are they when he's hitting shots?  And then for the players, can you comment from what you remember from the UVA game?
COACH DIXON:  They want to keep the scores down.  They want to keep it low.  I think they have very good balance.  I think Joe Harris obviously was the name coming in.  He's the senior.  He's the scorer.  I think Brogdon didn't play last year and they're all returning guys.  With that, I think you normally see teams get more scoring out of other guys.
I think their balance is really their strength.  I think because Joe was picked as a preseason all‑league player, you know, the focus is on him, but obviously some other guys have progressed and they've got balanced scoring all the way through.  So there's not just one guy.

Q.  Lamar, thoughts on Virginia?
LAMAR PATTERSON:  We lost at the buzzer.  So that game could have went either way.  We'll be ready for it.  So we know where ‑‑ we can play with them or we can play with anybody in the country we feel like.  So we'll be ready to go.  We'll have our minds and body ready.
JAMES ROBINSON:  We know what we have to do coming in.  Obviously rebound and defend, which have kind of been our things that we try to do every night since the beginning of the season.  So we're going to get back and get ready for the game tomorrow.

Q.  What other than effort obviously with‑‑
COACH DIXON:  Shots is key to that.  For him, we went smaller.  It allows us to penetrate.  It made them rotate.  Obviously he has a knack for it.  He's always been good at it.  He was on the glass constantly.  He uses quickness.  I think they had some bigger guys guarding him and that was to his benefit, his strength, using his quickness and his agility.

Q.  As a coach, when you look at a special player like Marcus Paige, he has 27points, but at the same time it looked like you built your lead with Cam Wright kind of slowing him down in the first half.  Do you see the pluses or do you see the 27?
COACH DIXON:  No.  Obviously the game changed, it got prolonged, it was a different game at the end.  I thought we did a good job to put ourselves in the position.  You want to be in the position that you're at.  Obviously the teams are going to make runs.  If you don't make free throws, that run  is going to be fueled by that.  He kept battling and he kept playing.  You know, they got some long rebounds, they got some loose balls at the end.  It was a different game down the stretch.
Seemed to change at a certain point in the game.  It's just ‑‑ but we got it right and we did what we needed to do.

Q.  For Jamie, the turnaround from this game playing at a fast pace, Virginia will want to keep you in the 50s.  Is that more or less of a challenge with the fatigue factor involved?
COACH DIXON:  I don't think there's going to be any fatigue factor.  We're ready to go.  They played today as well.  We'll be ready to go.  We're excited about it.  We're ready to go.  We're playing our best basketball right now.  I think that's the most important thing.

Q.  Jamie, a couple of reports have come out that the ACC tournament looks like it's moving to the Barclays Center in 2017 and 2018 for the league where it is now.  What does it do to the New York brand?  How much do you think that would help the league?
COACH DIXON:  It's going to be great no matter what.  That's what we have to remind ourselves of.  We can debate it and talk about it and maneuver and try it where you need to have it.  But either way it's going to be great, it's going to be terrific.  And I think it's going to grow into the best event in college basketball.  That's what it will become.
We're excited to be part of it.  I think it's great for our conference wherever it ends up.  We'll be there and we'll be excited about playing.

Q.  Do you think that that expansion helps it playing in different places and different people getting a chance to go see it, helps it become this greatest event?
COACH DIXON:  I think ‑‑ I don't know.  I think that's up in the air.  I think people like going to the same place.  When it was in New York, I think the same.  But we've had the same amount of interest going to Greensboro too from our fans.
I can't believe that many people were there, even in those corner seats that we got as the first year team, I guess what I was informed of.  Notre Dame was in the other corner and Syracuse was in the other corner.  That's fair.
I think our fans will get there no matter what and they're excited about it.  I don't know that‑‑ there's benefits to both.  There's benefits to both.  Moving it around obviously doesn't give the home court advantage to certain teams every year, but at the same time I think willing to go the same place every time brings a tradition that we have in the Big East.  I don't think it's going to be in one place forever.  I think it's going to be moved around.

Q.  When everyone's looking at resumes for the tournament this time of year, how important is it to kind of have an on‑paper win like this one this time of year?
COACH DIXON:  Every win is important.  You want to be playing your best basketball.  We've clearly done.  I think that's the most important thing.  We weren't healthy.  We're now healthy.  You factor that in.  You look at teams that are playing their best.  I've been saying it and we're doing it.  And I think this game is another example of that.  I think it's the right time to be playing your best.

Q.  James, every team practices late game situations.  When you see you're up late, you know you're going to take the pounding with the full court press.  What do you learn from those late game situations in practice and do you take the same kind of beating there that you take when you're out there on a day like this?
JAMES ROBINSON:  Yeah, definitely in practice.  We call it our press team who, you know, they challenge us every day in practice.  So it's kind of like a drill.  Come game time and, you know, obviously the fans are into it, everybody's up, excited.  But I guess as a guard, as a person that's on the court, you got to remain calm and know that everything is going to be all right.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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