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March 15, 2014

Jamie Dixon

Lamar Patterson


Virginia – 51
Pittsburgh - 48

COACH DIXON:  We'll get started here.  Obviously, congratulations, Virginia.  We're extremely disappointed.  We thought we had our chances to win the game and thought our guys played well.  Did a lot of great things.  Obviously came down to a lot of plays at the end of the game and they were able to pull away.  But obviously, one‑possession game could have gone either way.
I'm proud of how our guys played.  We got better this week.  We're healthy and playing our best basketball.  I told our guys we have to continue to improve this week and be ready for next week.

Q.  Jamie, did you see on the last layup you guys had, looked like there was clearly‑‑
COACH DIXON:  We just saw it on video.  What can you do?  What can you do?  Just watched it.  Everybody saw it.

Q.  Coach, about 15, 20 seconds left, Robinson had a great steal, very good defensive possession.  Back to a one‑point game.  Talk us through the play and kind of what the mindset was and how good that was for momentum in getting it back to a one‑point game.
COACH DIXON:  That was the play he just asked about.  Obviously, I can't comment about anything else besides that.  I mean, great.  We just watched it on the video.  Great steal by James.  Played great defense in front of him.  All ball, take it away, go the other way.
Can't state the obvious.

Q.  Lamar, after scoring over 80 points the last two games and this one today, what is it about Virginia's defense that makes it so tough, not just on you but other teams, to keep them in the 50s?
LAMAR PATTERSON:  They're a solid team.  They don't make very many mistakes, and they just stick together and they're real solid.  They sat into the paint and they're a good team.  That's why they won the conference.
We expected that coming in, so we were ready for it.

Q.  Coach, every coach has at least a goal of having his team playing its best going to the NCAA Tournament.  Can you say that even in defeat about your guys right now?
COACH DIXON:  I think so.  We didn't shoot well.  I think our offense wasn't exactly what we needed to do, but we battled.  We did some good things.  When it got down to the end, we got better defensively and got stops.
It didn't go our way.  We had three offensive fouls.  We only had eight turnovers, and three were offensive fouls.  As far as taking care of the ball, that's pretty good against a good defensive team.  That's remarkable, actually, when you think about it.
So again, eight turnovers, three were offensive calls.  I think we can improve on our shot selection.  That's something we've got to battle and our defense can improve too.  Every team can improve too at this point.  We improved this past week.  That's the encouraging thing.
We're healthy and we're playing our best basketball.  We lost to a good team in a one‑point, one‑possession game that obviously could have gone either way.  So I was proud of how our guys responded.  But we're going to get better this week too.

Q.  Jamie, Tony Bennett called this a blue collar knuckle buster, some kind of thing like that.  The number of fouls being a lot different than yesterday aside, what did you think about how tough and physical the teams played today?
COACH DIXON:  I thought it was two good teams, defensive teams.  As I said, this conference, there's been so many close games and I think we should not at all be surprised.  Obviously, Virginia won the conference, but we felt that we were in here to win the game.  So we were confident in ourselves and our ability and we just came up short.  But I think we learned a lot from it.

Q.  Coach, Talib Zanna has really stepped up in the past two games, especially today offensively.  Can you talk about how he kept you in it offensively, especially in the first half?
COACH DIXON:  They were double‑teaming him.  That's what they do.  We were used to that.  I thought he played well out of it.  We wanted to get the ball into him and make plays out of the double‑team.  We did to a certain degree.  I wish we could have done it more.  But it's something that he made some great drives.  That one layup that somehow came out, I don't know how it came out.  That was a big play for us.  But a great move by him.
Just he's done a tremendous job on the glass, obviously.  He's healthy now, you know.  That helps.  I watched the film of us against Virginia last year when he turned his ankle and was really ineffective.  Two points, three rebounds.
MODERATOR:  Any other questions?  Thank you.
COACH DIXON:  Thank you.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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