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Mike Lopresti | | April 3, 2016

Men's basketball national championship: Best quotes from Sunday

March Madness Moments: Saturday's Final Four

HOUSTON – What they were saying Sunday at the Final Four:

Jay Wright, on being at Villanova for 15 years and not leaving:

“I have been tempted a couple of times. How close I was to going, I couldn't say. I mean, I really don't remember now. But one thing you just realize the longer you're in this, it's not just you. I think someone asked me the other day, Lon Kruger has taken five different schools to the NCAA tournament. I don't think the way we do it would fit at other schools. So we're very happy. We love the school. We love living there. I think our coaching style fits Villanova's culture. So to quote the great Jimmy Valvano who said, 'Don't mess with happy.' That's kind of the way we look at it.”

North Carolina's Justin Jackson, on Villanova's 71-percent shooting against Oklahoma:

“That's hard to do even if you're shooting by yourself.”

Wright on the makeup of his players:

“I think the success of this team really is based on the parents of these guys. These guys came in that way. So it was really easy for us to coach them. If you're not humble, it's hard to be coached. If you can't be coached, it's hard to get better.”

Roy Williams, on coaching at North Carolina:

“I think coaching and playing at North Carolina is a tremendous advantage. The history, traditions, it's a nice school, pretty color, all those kinds of things. The only thing I think is that you always get everybody's best shot. You don't ever catch somebody on a bad night. But I'd take all those advantages over that disadvantage.”

Wright on the messages of support he has been getting from other Big East coaches:

“I can say confidently that we do have a great relationship amongst all the coaches in the Big East. When we play each other, I mean, we want to kill each other. We're going at it. But when it comes tournament time, we really do pull together. We talk to each other. We have texts going between all of us that were in the tournament. It's just because we're basketball guys. We're in this new world of college athletics that's organized by football. We're just trying to find our place. We feel like we need each other.”

Wright on Monday's game:

“The matchups are unique. We are different teams. It's going to be a battle of wills because they do some things that we don't. We have perimeter play that's different, a lot different than theirs. Obviously we're going to have to deal with their size, their length, their rebounding, their inside game. This is going to be a hell of a game.”

RELATED: How Villanova dismantled Oklahoma

Villanova's Kris Jenkins, crediting strength coach John Shackleton for helping him trim from 280 pounds as an incoming freshman to his current listing of 240:

“That's my guy. We're together every day. Early workouts. Team workouts. He's been great in teaching me how to live my life and change my life, not only for right now but when I'm done playing basketball.”

Ryan Arcidiacono, on what he expects Monday after Villanova's 71-percent shooting Saturday:

“For no shots to fall. I think that's just how basketball works.”

Arcidiacono, on his favorite Villanova players growing up:

“I loved Kyle (Lowry, now in the NBA with the Toronto Raptors) because he gave it his all. I still love Kyle. He comes back to Villanova and he plays in our pickup games and I make sure I try to guard him because I know he's so tenacious and he wants to win everything. We almost got into a little scuffle this past off-season.”

Williams on bringing his high school coach to every Final Four:

“There was no father in my family. There was no male figure. So he was the guy. He's the one that got me to go to college. I never even thought about going to college. I was the first of my generation to ever go to college. He wanted me to go to North Carolina, he wanted me to try to be on the freshman team so I'd get more exposure to Coach Smith. I talk to him more than any other human in the world other than my wife.

“When Dean Smith asked me to (change jobs and become a Carolina assistant) for $2,700, and (wife) Wanda didn't have a job, I went to his house. He said, 'How much would you and Wanda make this year?' I said, 'If we stay, we'll make $30,000.' He said, 'I think you ought to do it.' I did it because I trusted him . . . I would be the luckiest guy in the world if I could have any kids that felt like me like I do my coach.”

MORE: How UNC handled Syracuse

Villanova's Kris Jenkins, on playing against his brother Nate Britt Monday:

“I won't talk to him today or tomorrow. We're getting reach to play each other. He wants to beat me just as badly as I want to beat him. Maybe before the game, give him a hug, tell him 'have a good game.' We talked about this happening, but what are the chances?”

Britt on the same subject:

“It is a win-win for our family . . . at the moment it would not be a win-win for Kris and I. Obviously, whoever wins the game, the other one is going to feel bad, and that will be permanent bragging rights for the rest of our lives.”

North Carolina's Jackson, on how the Tar Heels have been able to thrive without a good 3-point shooting game:

“Because we have monsters inside.”

Villanova's Josh Hart on being related to baseball great Elston Howard:

“When I was younger, I loved baseball. I think there's no better sound in sports than when that wooden bat makes contact with the ball. That was one of my dad's favorite sports and I think he was kind of pushing me in that direction. It just got a little too boring. I was in the outfield and it was like, 'Well, no one hits me the ball when I'm out here.' So I was just hanging out, picking grass and eating sunflower seeds.”

North Carolina's Marcus Paige on playing his final game:

“When you're playing in the national championship game your senior year, there is no tomorrow. This is it. You put the jersey on one more time. I think I'll have a great appreciation and take a moment to reflect when I put that jersey on. It will be more memorable if I play well and we win.”

Villanova's Jalen Brunson on Monday night:

“I think if we play Villanova basketball, win or lose, we're going to be able to look each other in the eye and say we were able to do what we wanted to do.”

North Carolina's Jackson on this season:

“There are so many things that people say about North Carolina basketball that I can't even keep up with. First, we're not tough enough. Then, we're not going to win games because other teams are going to rough us up and come at us . . . I don't think we need to win because of what people might be saying about North Carolina basketball, I think we need to win because we want to win. That's been our goal all season long. We always say, 'They can't want it more than us.'”

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