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3 things Roy Williams said at his pre-Final Four press conference

first_img Related Stories 3 things Jim Boeheim said at his pre-Final Four press conferenceSyracuse basketball opponent preview: What to know about North Carolina2016 NCAA Tournament: Beat writers predict Syracuse basketball’s Final Four matchup with North CarolinaRevisit Syracuse’s Final Four runs under Jim BoeheimDougherty: Malachi Richardson doesn’t think you can guard him, and he’s probably right Facebook Twitter Google+ No. 1 seed North Carolina (32-6, 14-4 Atlantic Coast) looks to knock off No. 10 seed Syracuse (23-13, 9-9) for the third time this year, when it plays the Orange in the Final Four on Saturday at 8:49 p.m. in Houston. UNC has won nine straight since losing to Virginia on Feb. 27, but the Orange is 4-0 in its last four meetings with No. 1 seeds.In the teams’ first two meetings, the Tar Heels’ frontcourt dominated SU’s 2-3 zone. On Jan. 9 in the Carrier Dome, UNC handed the Orange its fourth straight loss to open conference play. In the teams’ second meeting in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, UNC took down Syracuse, 75-70.Here are three notable things UNC head coach Roy Williams said ahead of Saturday’s matchup.Syracuse’s press use in second half wasn’t surprisingIn the Elite Eight, Syracuse overcame a 16-point halftime deficit to beat the Cavaliers 68-62. It marked the first time in UVA head coach Tony Bennett’s career that his team lost a double-digit halftime lead. Williams said SU’s use of the press was so effective because of the surprise element it brought.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“It didn’t surprise me because I’ve played Jimmy many times in the past,” Williams said. “Some of his teams in the past have been known as great pressing teams. Every time we’ve played Syracuse in my entire career, we’ve always worked on press offense because he still has that in his brain and in his basketball notebook.”For the past two days, UNC has practiced its press offense. Williams said the Tar Heels will do so again tomorrow, adding that anytime the press is used, it opens the court and creates opportunities.“We feel that they’ll try to press us,” Williams said. “We felt that they would try to press us in Syracuse. We felt like they would try to press us in Chapel Hill. Only one guy decides, that’s Jimmy Boeheim.”Syracuse ‘deserves to be here’The 10th-seeded Orange has held opponents to just under 56 points per game in the NCAA Tournament. In each game, it’s committed fewer turnovers than it did in the game prior. Even in a 19-point win over Dayton in the first round, SU committed 15 turnovers. In the Elite Eight, though, the Orange turned the ball over just eight times.“Jimmy Boeheim’s Syracuse team is really good and deserves to be here because they beat teams to get here,” Williams said. “They didn’t vote Syracuse to get here, they beat teams to get here. Everybody they were lined up to play, they beat to get here.”Williams added: “What they did to Virginia I didn’t think I would ever see because I have such respect for Tony Bennett and their club. Man, the second half, that was so impressive. Probably as impressive a basketball time period I’ve seen all year.”In its four NCAA Tournament games, the Orange has allowed just 55.8 points per game. When asked about the Syracuse zone, Williams said “it’s impossible to simulate,” citing Tyler Roberson, Dajuan Coleman and Malachi Richardson on the frontline.Williams is still a ‘puppy’Williams has a cold, sinus infection and “two bum knees,” but said that he has never felt better than he feels now, with his team on the brink of a spot in the national championship game. When asked if having already won a title makes this year’s trip a different experience, Williams said “no.”“I’m still like a little puppy dog,” Williams said. “I think it’s fantastic, love that part of it. It means you’ve accomplished something. It means there’s a greater prize out there. Now there’s only four people that can possibly get that greater prize.”After Syracuse defeated Kansas in the 2003 national championship game, Boeheim shook hands with Williams, Kansas’ head coach at the time.“I’ll never forget walking down to shake hands after they beat us in 2003 in New Orleans,” Williams said. “I remember it like it was yesterday. I said, ‘Jimmy, I’m really sad, but I’m really happy for you.’ I meant that. I’ll never forget Jimmy’s response. He basically said, ‘Thank you, but you’re going to get one, too.’”Two years later, in his second season at UNC, Williams got his, leading the Tar Heels to its first national championship since 1993. He then tacked on another in 2009. When asked if the end of the road is near, Williams said he hopes to coach a few more times in the Final Four, alluding that retirement after this year is unlikely.“When I quit, it will not be because of anything that happens this weekend,” he said. Commentscenter_img Published on March 31, 2016 at 7:47 pm Contact Matthew: mguti100@syr.edu | @MatthewGut21last_img

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