Rick Pitino on North Carolina

Louisville head coach Rick Pitino discusses Saturday's East Region final against No. 1 seed North Carolina in Charlotte's Bobcat Arena.

On playing UNC in the East Region final: "We're very excited to be playing the Elite Eight. Our players are just starting to watch film for the first time. By the time they did the random drug testing our players got back in at 2:30 or 3 o'clock in the morning and that's late. So we'll take it easy today and just relax.

"I think our guys have a unique opportunity. They realize that it takes three games to win a national championship, that's what they're focused in on the next opponent which is a great challenge. We understand we have to play a road game to get there. We played a road game at Georgetown for a regular-season championship and came up just short. We've been a good road game all year and they're going to have to be tomorrow as well."

On playing against No. 1 North Carolina: "I think they're a great basketball team. They played a tough schedule. They are ACC champions. They're the premier team in college basketball right now. They've got great balance and multiple players. They handle the ball well and make the extra pass. That's why they're the No. 1 team in the country. They do it with great team-work and speed and terrific athleticism. When you watch them on film you're very impressed."

On David Padgett's importance to the team: "Everything he does is not for himself it's for the well-being of team. If they throw him the ball inside 60-70 percent of the time if they move he's going to throw it back out to them."

On Tyler Hansbrough: "I think he's going to be a great NBA player because he brings it every possession. You look for the guys like Hansbrough in the NBA who are not going to take possessions off. There aren't many like him in college basketball. He plays every possession as I the game was on the line. I'm a big admirer of the way he plays and the energy he brings."

On Louisville's team chemistry: "I'm always a firm believer that chemistry is when love and discipline come together. I don't think you can have great chemistry without those two ingredients. They're all very different and they're all great guys. Juan Palacios is from Medellion, Columbia so he's had it very different from most of these guys. These guys are all from different backgrounds and walks of life. Andre is from the valley in California. Jerry is from Wisconsin. David is from Reno. And T-Will is from Seattle. So from all walks of life and they've blended nicely. But it was rough in the beginning. It's come full circle and it's a nice ending."

On point guard Andre McGee: "When I recruited Andre in high school I went to visit him and tried to give him a call after the tournament and he was in the hospital for 10 days in Las Vegas for dehydration. Andre has a dehydration problem – cramping. When we first got him he had these cramping problems like you would not believe and we could not get the answer. Every game Andre gets two bags of IV fluid to try and stop cramping and Fred Hina did an unbelievable job finding out why he was cramping. He takes oxygen on the bench when he comes out and it has worked. He hasn't cramped up much at all this year. Andre has really had a special year. The other guys get a lot of the credit but Andre has been a major catalyst for our full-court pressure and he's improved immensely on offense. He's developing into a good leader. He's had a good year."


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