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Rick Pitino Talks About The North Carolina Loss

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

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Opening Statement

Give credit to North Carolina. That's about as bad a loss as we've had since I've been here. But I thought our guys played great the whole night. They played a great basketball game and did a lot of great things.

It doesn't really come down to the end of the game, even though they made a very difficult shot and we had a wide open shot -- that's what fans look at. But if we keep playing the game and keep running our press offense -- we should have taken a timeout, instead we threw it to our 5'9 guy posting up at the foul line. Those types of things you can do something about. You can't do anything about the difficult shot he made or the open shot we missed.

It was a great game, a great atmosphere. Give a lot of credit to North Carolina for coming back. We're playing great basketball right now, but we're also hurting because this stings as bad as any loss I've had as a coach. Our players are very hurt by it, but that's the ACC. There are going to be a lot of games like this because there are a lot of great teams in the ACC, and so we'll move on from here.

On Chinanu Onuaku

He played really well. He did a great job and our guards did a great job.

On playing Montrezl Harrell up top

He starts up top during some possessions but he finishes down low. He just had a difficult time today, defensively more than offensively.

Was there something different about Montrezl because he was playing at home?

Yeah, North Carolina's length. I mean he came home against Wake Forest and had 20 in the first half. So what's your point? There was nothing different about him.

On being proud even after a heartbreaking loss

Chris and Terry played great. Chinanu played terrific. This was a game that we're going to remember for a long time. It stings. But you can't have a hangover because you've got to go out and play Virginia Tech and then you've gotta play Duke.

We had a golden opportunity and we let it get away, and we're very disappointed about that. We had them at 38 percent shooting at one point in the second half, and they wound up shooting 52 percent. You've got to guard them and defend every single possession down the stretch. We didn't do that, and that's a credit to their offense.

On what was going right in the second half

We were playing good defense. We stopped them from scoring in transition. They didn't get in transition much the whole game, and that was good. We did a good job of getting three people back. We can't play any better than that. We didn't execute our press offense well on that one possession. They did exactly what I told them to do (on the last possession): push the pace and make two passes, and they got a wide open shot. I've got no beefs with the effort, we just have to do a little better job of containing the basketball because Nanu got caught rotating so much and helping out because our veterans were getting beat off the bounce. That created some problems for us.

On UNC's final possession

We were trying to trap it. But we had a 6'10 guy who got off his feet and he made a very difficult shot. But he makes that shot going to his left. We should have trapped it, but Terry couldn't get over the screen in time. But Nanu did the exact same thing that he's supposed to. That was a much more difficult shot than Wayne Blackshear's shot.

On Wayne having the confidence to take the last shot

Well I would hope so. There was no time on the clock. You would've taken it. I don't think it takes a lot of confidence to take a wide-open shot with no time on the clock.