REACTION: Gottfried Talks NCAAs

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State head coach Mark Gottfried discussed the Wolfpack's NCAA bid with the media this evening.

Mark Gottfried

"I think it's hard to project exactly where you're going to be when you're in this boat that we're in, but we're awfully excited about playing... very excited about having the opportunity to play."

"I call it the greatest show on Earth. I believe that. Our guys need to feel, which I think they are, about their opportunity to play in the NCAA tournament."

"A couple of things jump out. They're very well coached. Fran Dunphy does an excellent job there. They beat Syracuse and Villanova in the nonconference."

"They've played in a tremendous league this year. You think of the A-10 you think of Butler, St. Louis and VCU. A lot of really good teams in that league. I think an elite player, an elite level, high level guy in Kalif Wyatt as a guard, 6'4" point guard, off guard. He's a terrific player. Again, a team that's very proven. They've done it all year long and they've played very well."

"You always want to be a higher seed. I don't care where you are. If you're a three seed, you want to be a two seed or a one seed. Seven seed, you want to be higher. It is what it is. This is where we are."

"I'm proud of our guys. I'm proud of the fact that our team, we're sitting here with 24 wins prior to the NCAA tournament. Back-to-back I think it's 48 wins in two years. Back to back NCAA tournaments. These guys have done a wonderful job of helping to build our program. I'm excited about that."

"I'm excited about some of the things we've accomplished here. Absolutely I wish we could have won a few more but at the same time we're anxious to go."

"I'm excited about playing. I believe we can play with anybody and beat anybody. I'm sure Temple's a very confident team too. When you get in this point in the year you're not going to find a bad basketball team. Everybody has earned the right one way or another to be in the tournament. Temple certainly has earned the right like we've earned the right. We'll see what happens."

"(On Richard Howell's health) I think he's good. We'll see. We didn't practice today, obviously. It's a day for him to rest."

"Our guys were excited. One thing that I've talked to our team about is this not last year. This is not last year. We're a different team. This team has a chance to write its own history. Last year will stand alone, by itself."

"This year, completely different circumstances. You've got to remember, last year at one point in time we were 5-7 in the league. Our backs were against the wall and we were able to win four games and get to 9-7. And then to get in the tournament and play well and do some thing and then all of the sudden we're ranked sixth in the country with basically the same group of guys that were 5-7 in the league."

"This team turned around and won 11 games in the conference, in the regular season. That's quite an accomplishment. It's an accomplishment for our guys. This is a process. We're building a program. This is a process. They're excited, certainly, about going to the greatest show on Earth."

"(On the opportunity to play Indiana) I think, to be honest, Scott's going to concentrate on the first game. If you don't, you'll find yourself on a plane ride home. We're 100 percent all of our scouting is going to be with Temple first."

"I think the ACC does a great job. I was actually surprised to see Miami as a two-seed today. To me that was a little bit of a slap in the face to our league. They're regular season champions, they're tournament champions. I think that's the first time in a long time that a team that's done that has not been a one-seed. In my opinion, they earned that."

"But I think our league is a lot better than the perception. I looked at the RPI rankings and our league was fourth, the fourth-rated league. But it seems that perception wise it was still about six, or seventh or eighth. I think the fact that we've played through this league does kind of prepare all of the teams in our conference for the tournament."


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