Rick Pitino Opening Statement
"We're real proud of our effort tonight, defensively especially. Our offense was tremendous in the first half. And we had a couple of goals that we wanted to accomplish in this game, because Davidson and Bob McKillop are one of the most well coached teams in college basketball. We knew that. The players watched so much film on them they had the same opinion as I had and the rest of the coaches.
So we wanted to really pressure them without trapping to try to take their legs out a little bit, because they're such a great shooting team, that if you let them have their legs you could be in for a long night. If Peyton stayed in the game, he could have had an absolute spectacular night. We had to adjust a little bit to the officiating, because it's not like that in the Big East and we get used to it a little bit and these two guys played tremendous.
Q. The importance of getting this win for this group, after the past couple of tournaments being one and done there. Can you speak to that.
COACH PITINO: You know what, every team is unique and different. I've had a lot of great teams. I felt two years ago we didn't deserve -- we deserved to get knocked out. Last year we had a bad break with our best player going out before with an injury.
So every year it's just different. This is a very good basketball team. They just came off a Big East tournament championship, where we had to beat some outstanding teams.
One thing that stuck out for me about Davidson, I haven't seen too many teams do this in my lifetime, they run almost 99 percent of the time. They are made buckets. So our press took them out of running on made buckets. And this is a team that averages 78 points a game and also only averages 11.8 turnovers per a game. You know how many fast break turnovers they had in the game? 0 for 2. That's tremendous -- we look at field goal defense, but 0 for 2 from one of the best scoring teams in the country on the fast break is tremendous defense.Q. What does it feel like to get the monkey off the back, and get this first NCAA tournament win this year?
Peyton Siva: It felt really good. We wasn't really worried about the first round in the sense of trying to get that first win in and worry about losing. Everybody was focused on Davidson, everybody focused on defense. We watched a lot of film, tried to learn what they do inside and out. I think everybody did a really good job on defense today and that was really our main focus.
Q. How much do you think your back-court pressure frustrated Davidson and took them out of what they wanted to do?
PEYTON SIVA: It might not have shown in the turnover department. We tried to get them -- they only average 11, we got them at 12. We just tried to wear their guards out, so later on in the game it would affect their free throw shooting and their three-point shooting. We tried to keep pressure on them.
They did a really good job. It got frustrating, and we tried to pressure them and tried to make them turnover. But they were very poised. They ran the offense to perfection. We just tried to wear them out and get their legs out of the game.
Q. When Gorgui got the three fouls early, how much did you feel like you had to take care of business inside when Gorgui got the three fouls?
Chane Behanan: I was mad at him for a minute. But I knew I had to take it upon myself and just play like a vet and just go in and rebound. We have been through this situation before through the Big East tournament. So we didn't expect him to be in foul trouble, we just got to hold it down when he's not there.
Q. You got it done with Dieng and Peyton sitting on the bench for a lot of minutes. You've got to feel good about that.
COACH PITINO: I do. It surprised me a little bit. Because refereeing, I've worked so many basketball camps in my life, and it's really a difficult thing. But Gorgui on his first foul, the problem when you make a call that may be incorrect, it doesn't really affect it then. But if you get your second or third, then it makes the player tentative.
It looked like Gorgui was going to have a tremendous play in the beginning. He got a foul. And then the second foul was a legitimate foul. So now you've got to make a decision. So Peyton was having his way because they were staying home on Kuric and Smith. He was having his way on pick and rolls. So it was a shame, we knew we could play without Gorgui, but we didn't think we could play without Peyton.
Q. You guys made free throws, you held them to a season low in scoring. Overall do you feel like you guys played well in every game, and late to the party, what happened to your hand?
COACH PITINO: My hand, I was trying to dunk the ball, Russ Smith said I couldn't dunk it, I grabbed the rim and just missed the dunk and sprained it.
You know, getting Peyton out of the game was difficult for us. But he's been playing so well of late. Our whole strategy tonight was to just make sure that we guarded the three- point line with our life. We did it at Cincinnati as well and held them to 14 points at halftime. So we're playing great defense. I think the guys got a big boost off the Big East championship. And now we run into two teams that, one we faced, they're both outstanding. But we're having a great time right now and real proud of our guys.
Q. I know New Mexico is just now playing right now. What do you know about them and what kind of match-up is that?
PEYTON SIVA: We know New Mexico is a tough team. Drew is a double-double machine. I've seen him play since high school. I know they're a tough, physical team. Really haven't watched a lot of film on them. But I know they're really tough. And I know it's going to be a tough game on the glass.
Q. You have a former Lobo assistant, does that help?
COACH PITINO: I'm sure it can't hurt, but I haven't seen them play one play. So I don't know if they're going to win. We played Long Beach and they're a great team. So I don't know who's going to win. We have great respect for them. He knows Drew Gordon, I don't know him. So I'll watch them.
Louisville’s record in the month of March is 38-17 since 2005. Head coach Rick Pitino has a 106-39 collegiate record in the month, including a 49-24 mark at Louisville.
Head coach Rick Pitino owns a 39-15 (.722 winning percentage) record in the NCAA Tournament, ranking him seventh among active coaches in winning percentage and 14th all time.
Louisville’s record as a No. 4 seed is 11-7. This year’s tournament marks the eighth time the Cardinals have participated in the NCAA Tournament as the No. 4 seed.
Peyton Siva dished out six assists in the game, giving him 186 for the season. The total ranks second most in a single season. For his career, he has collected 424, which ranks ninth all time in school history. He passed Rick Wilson (1974-78), who finished his career with 419.
Gorgui Dieng swatted two shots in the game for 113 this season. Through his two-year career, he has registered 169 blocks, which ranks sixth all time.
Kyle Kuric scored 10 points in the first half, marking the sixth time this season he has tallied at least 10 points in the opening period. He finished the game with 13 points, with four rebounds.
Chane Behanan grabbed six offensive rebounds, the second most this season. He previously totaled six against Syracuse (2/13) this season and grabbed a season-best eight offensive boards against Rutgers (2/4).
Russ Smith hit Louisville’s lone 3-pointer in the first half, marking the fewest treys the Cardinals have knocked down in an NCAA Tournament game since the team hit just one against Arkansas-Little Rock on March 16, 1989. Louisville hit only one 3-pointer in an NCAA Tournament game twice before that.
Louisville’s defense was held to 35 percent (21-of-60) from the floor, including a 21.1 percent clip (4-of-19) from beyond the arc. The Wildcats’ field goal percentage is its lowest this season. Davidson entered the game connecting on 44.9 percent of its shots from the field.
Davidson’s 21 made field goals are tied for the fewest this season, and it is the fourth time they have been held to that amount.
Chane Behanan posted the seventh double-double of his career (14 points, 11 rebounds).
Gorgui Dieng scored nine points to reach the 500-point mark in his career.
The win over Davidson is Louisville’s first NCAA Tournament win since 2009.
Today’s game was the second meeting between Davidson and Louisville and the first since Dec. 12, 1959.