June 17, 2014 - by
The Greatest Event In College Sports Live On Your PC!

The Greatest Event In College Sports Live On Your PC!

With March Madness approaching, CSTV sat down
with four of the nation’s top coaches to talk about expectations,
pressure, keys to success and what it is like to succeed on the grandest
stage in college sports.

on High Expectations and Distractions

At Illinois, it had been so long since
a team had gotten to the second weekend that I think people
were excited about the progress. But now it’s a whole different
animal when your season is defined by winning games with the
highest stakes. I think the big thing is just go have fun,
do the best you can do and give ourselves the best chance to
be successful, on and off the court. The expectations might
be tough on coaches, but we try to create an environment where
they don’t make it tough on players.
I tell (my team) that they’re all more popular now, all better-looking,
than they have ever been. But I tell them this is the most important
time and you can’t be everything to everybody. The teams that
win are the teams that are focused and mature and have blinders
on, not seeing everything around them. That’s especially hard
for youngsters to do, especially if they haven’t been around
it before, but hopefully at Kansas, we don’t get hung up on things.
I tell them all the time, we can only focus in on things that
have a direct impact on us winning or losing.

on the Hawks’
2004 run

There are two things (I remember), actually.
The first is how quickly the whole experience happens. It
felt like the time from Selection Sunday until we lost to
Oklahoma State was over in the snap of a finger. It felt like
that whole ride was literally over in two hours rather than
two weeks.
The second thing is the ache that still stays with me today
about coming within a fingertip of going to the Final Four.
It still sits there, the pain of knowing how close that our
special group of players got to the Final Four.

on Parity and Pressure

There continues to be closer and closer
games being played. Last year may have been the closest games
in the history of the tournament. The reason is the top-level
teams rarely have senior-dominated teams. Duke loses people.
We lose people. Michigan State loses people. Gonzaga has four-year
seniors or five-year seniors. The Division I lower and mid-level
teams have a much better chance now because they have experience
while the top teams are losing guys to the NBA every year.
There’s a lot of pressure because there’s going to be
only one team that wins it all. There’s another team that’ll
win the NIT but they are disappointed they didn’t get into the
real tournament. There’s only one champion and people very rarely
remember who was second or who the other teams were in the Final
That’s just the nature of the beast.

on the key to March

It’s all about seeding. And that’s
why I say you can’t do this by numbers. It’s hard.
The committee has an unbelievable job. It’s a HARD job.
That’s why I say, “How about we bring in former
coaches to make it a little easier. It’s a ridiculously
hard job.”
Everybody told me; “You know your record while you were
at UMass in the NCAA tournament was 11-4.” We got a
three seed, three seed, a two seed, a two seed and a one seed
– it should have been that good.
Now (at Memphis) we got two seven seeds. Now all of a sudden,
I see it how the other half lives. A seven seed is hard. We
won a game, we beat a good South Carolina team, and lost to
a Final Four team. And then the year before we played fairly
good in the first half against Arizona St. and then kind of
broke down in the second half, but that game is whoever is
shooting the ball.
So you want to get one of those top three seeds. It is the
most important thing going – those three seeds.


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