UCLA players Kevin Love, Darren Collison and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute just met the media here at the U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix.
Here are selected quotes:
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute
(How are you feeling?)
"I'm coming back to 100 percent, obviously. As far as the pain, my ankle -- the pain is less. I don't feel as much pain. And the swelling went down.
If I had to give a percentage, I would say 90, 95 percent hopefully by tomorrow. But I will be ready to go. I was a little rusty having not played for a week and a half. I am looking forward to coming out tomorrow and play our best against a very good team."
(Compare your defense to Western Kentucky's mindset)
"I mean, just going back to our principles. I mean, the whole season we faced teams like that in the Pac-10 a lot. Talking about Oregon, Arizona, teams like that. Transition defense is going to be key. Darren stopping the ball and making sure we are running back with their bigs.
"Once we get to the half-court set, just make sure we're executing. Always the same principle. We have to win the battle of the boards. That's it."
(What affect do all these close calls have on you?)
"Coming from one of the best conference, the Pac-10 conference, every game down the stretch was a close game for us. Everybody is going to give it their best shot. There were a lot of times trying to get into the tourney at the time. So we got the team's best shots going into the tourney. Coming into the NCAA tournament, anybody can lose. You see the top teams losing to the bottom seed teams. You got to play at your best.
"Like Coach said, right now seeds don't really matter. We can't overlook anybody. We just want to win. No matter how close the game is, we just want to win and get the W."
(What affect did the Texas A&M game have?)
"Texas A&M was a very good team. They grinded it out every possession. They got good looks. They didn't play like an 8 seed. That's what we have to understand. No matter what the seedings are, we have to play against a team that will give it their best shot.
We just want to win. No matter how we do it, we just want to get the W, close call or not. We just want to win."
"The team that speeds it up. You know the answer to that one. A team that speeds it up. It is a lot of fun when we play a team that speeds it up, because there is a lot of easy points in transition and we are going up and down. We are not always walking up the ball and the other team is not walking up the ball.
"Whenever a team slows it down -- not to say we can't slow in the half-court set -- it makes it a little bit boring, for the fans themselves, not that I care about the opinions, but it makes it more fun for us as well. "
(That turnaround shot against Texas A&M with the game tied... where does your confidence come to shoot a shot like that in a moment that big?"
"I had talked to Darren the night before. He told me the minute you think you are going to lose, you will lose the game. I felt in my mind, I kept the calmness and Darren kept talking to me whether it was on the sideline when we had a time-out or in the locker room at halftime. I just kept calm.
That shot I shot, you know, thousands and thousands of times over the course of the season in high school. I used to shoot that shot all the time. That was my training from Oregon. Usually I put it off the glass. From the angle I was at, I wanted to just try to put it in and it went down for me and I was thankful for it."
(Which would you rather play, a team that slows it down like Texas A&M or the team that speeds it up like Western Kentucky?)