Sports

Parise: A Phenomenal Final

(Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images) (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images) (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

By Vin Parise
» More Columns

The upcoming 2011 Final Four will be remembered for ages.  The VCU Rams going from last four in to last four standing, Butler making back to back Final Four appearances after losing Gordon Hayward to the NBA, UConn’s big time Big East tournament and NCAA run behind Kemba Walker and John Calipari’s young Wildcats back to basketball’s promised land.  Here are some post game thoughts from a dejected Roy Williams and an emotionally drained John Calipari last night in Newark-

Roy Williams-North Carolina:

“You have to congratulate John and his staff and players.  It had to be a game you enjoyed watching if you love basketball.  And I couldn’t be more proud of my team than I am.  John’s got a wonderful bunch cutting down the nets right now but I wouldn’t trade my kids for anybody.”

“In terms of Kentucky, sometimes things may be meant to be.  The Princeton game, the lay-up at the end, the Ohio State game, the jump shot.  John’s kids are competitive and they were so aggressive in the 1st half.  Their defense beat our offense and their offense beat our defense.  They were the hungrier team in the 1st half.  I think we matched it in the 2nd half, but the little engine that could ya know – somebody asked a question about, is it draining to keep coming back?  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.  And sometimes when you get there and you can’t get over the hump.  And Brandon Knight really made it hard for us to get over the hump.”

John Calipari-Kentucky:

“The resiliency our team showed was unbelievable.  There were a couple of times I thought about calling time-outs but I didn’t want my guys to think that I didn’t believe in them.  I wanted them to play through it.  It was a great, dogfight kind of game.”

“Going back to Selection Sunday, in terms of the seedings, I guess I am a little bit surprised we’re here.  But not because of how my team was playing, I just thought the path to get here would be so ridiculous that we would have to play out of our minds or people would have to get knocked off.  It had nothing to do with my team.  We lost a lot of close games this year because of me, not just them.  This is now a brand new team.”

“What happened today is North Carolina sucked in on our drives and we shot more threes.  It wasn’t by design.  I didn’t go into the game saying we will shoot threes today.  I didn’t know they would play that way.  I spent half a day with my staff like okay, how do you think they’ll play?  But let’s make this clear – this is not a team I coached for two years, and we have an idea of each other and how we play.  This team literally came together five months ago.”

“I hope my legacy as a coach is about what has happened for the players I’ve coached and the individuals I’ve worked with.  I hope, if anything, it’s about what my wife and I have done in the communities where we’ve lived and on the campuses where we’ve worked.  And you know, we will all be judged 50 years from now one way or another.”

- Vin Parise

Have some thoughts on the Final Four? Leave your comments below.