North Carolina 79, Maryland 68
North Carolina Head Coach Roy Williams
"I'm really happy for our guys, really proud of them. Maryland, I thought, would make a run, but I was hoping our play would not allow them to make a run. We turned it over two or three times in the backcourt, and they made a couple of 3s, and all of a sudden it was a six-point game. The best thing I liked was Marcus Paige-who turned it over at least two of those times-stepped up to make the big 3 to take it back to nine. Then we came down and we got James Michael [McAdoo], going to the basket on a set play, he makes the layup and got fouled, so we have a three-point play. Basically we made free throws and did some good things at that point, but we also know we got Maryland on a night when they didn't make some shots they normally make."
On neutralizing Maryland:
"P.J. [Hairston] stretches the defense so much that sometimes other teams make substitutions. They went small a lot tonight, too. For us, we can't guard the guy on the post. Early on I thought they were hurting us inside, and they had 14 points from offensive rebounds in the first half, and they only had six in the second half. We talked about the biggest thing at halftime was trying to do a better job rebounding the ball... You look at Reggie [Bullock], he has 12 rebounds, and P.J. has eight. That's pretty impressive from your wing players."
On his team:
"They really have come a long way. They've bought in to the sense of urgency idea; they've bought into the unselfishness, trying to do what we ask them to do. They compete; that was something I'm really proud of. I've brought some really good teams in here. We won a National Championship in '09, but we didn't win here. I really liked the way our kids did. Even Marcus [Paige], and I'm serious, he made some bad plays and if I'm not mistaken, that big 3 was the first big play. After that one run there, he didn't do anything else except move the ball, and get the ball to the right people. We ran three set plays, and something good happened out of all three set plays."
On the team's sixth straight win:
"I always have this funny thing to me: I don't know how to make my team peak, and neither does anybody else. There's not one of us who's that much smarter than the other guy. If I knew how to make my team peak, so would they. Everyone would be peaking, and how the crap would you know who's peaking? We work as hard as we can every single day, and I tell my team all the time, if you bust your tail every day, you're going to get better as we go along. That's what we've talked about with this group, and at the beginning of the season I said I thought my team would get better and better as the season went along, and I really think they have."
Junior Guard Reggie Bullock:
On Maryland's second-half run:
"They were trying to make a run and had a good stretch to cut it to six points. We had to be mentally tough. Out of the timeout we made some plays. Marcus [Paige] started us off with a three pointer. He made a great shot, and we just turned it up."
On North Carolina's play:
"We're getting better every game. Everybody is sharing the ball up front, and we're talking on defense. We just have to keep doing that."
On the rebounding battle:
"We tried to be big on the boards. We had a small lineup in there so we had to make plays. Maryland is one of the best rebounding teams in the league."
Senior Guard Dexter Strickland
On playing with a small lineup:
"I don't think it has anything to do with the lineup. I think it's because our guys have more experience on the floor. We know what we have to do to get a win. Everyone is playing as a team. The team chemistry is there and everyone is playing hard."
On the play of Marcus Paige:
"He bounced back quickly. We need him to do that. If he turns the ball over, he can't dwell on that turnover and let it affect his game. He hit a big three for us. You can see his confidence growing with each game."
Sophomore Guard P.J. Hairston
On his rebounding effort tonight:
"That's been the key the last couple of games. I would finish with three or four rebounds. This game I knew that Maryland was leading the conference in rebounding, so my goal was just to crash the boards."
On stopping Maryland's second-half run:
"We played with poise; we didn't let their run affect us. We had a couple of turnovers which led to a layup and a three-point basket. After that we played with poise and hit some shots."
On playing better on the road of late:
"We all bought in. We realized that even though we're on the road, that we are the same team. We can play like this anytime regardless of if we are at home or on the road. We just have to play with heart."