Head Coach Roy Williams says part of this week’s task is not just preparing for the opponent, but keeping the players’ heads in the game.
“The families and friends drive them crazy because everybody wants a ticket, everybody wants this, everybody wants that,” Coach Williams says. “You have to be able to say no, and you have to be very selfish. You’ve got to be selfish with your time, your studies, your rest, your eating, and you have to understand, if those people really love you, they’re concerned about how you play.”
Two teams already saw an exit from the tournament Tuesday night in the first round. Wednesday, two more will see their season come to an end. By Friday the field will be cut from 64 down to 32; and by Sunday, the tournament will be heading to the Sweet 16.
With everything moving at such a fast pace and so much conversation about the tournament on the whole as well as each individual contest, it’s easy for anyone and everyone to get caught up in the reason behind the term “March Madness.”
But Coach Williams says, really it’s all quite simple.
“There is not other game, and I told my guys last night at the house…guys let’s go out there and think about Villanova and play our tails off,” Coach Williams says. “If we play our tails off, perhaps somebody will let us stay around and play again.”
Villanova finished the season 10-8 in the Big East and, as the No. 7 seed, fell to the two-seed Louisville in the quarterfinals. The Wildcats won five of their last eight contests, but two of the losses were one-point decisions, including an overtime game against future ACC member Pittsburgh in the second to last game of the regular season.
Tipoff between North Carolina and Villanova is scheduled for Friday at 7:20 p.m. Eastern in Kansas City. Our pregame coverage on WCHL begins at 5:00 p.m. with Countdown to Tipoff hosted by Aaron Keck.
Tune in to the WCHL Wednesday Morning News with Ron Stutts at 8:20 a.m. to hear from Barry Jacobs about what’s in store for Carolina this weekend.