Q.You were really complimentary of Kentucky after the January game. I think you said that’s a championship-type team. What specifically did you see then and maybe how have you seen it evolve over the next two months?
BRUCE PEARL: Well, I think Kentucky is confident right now because they learned to play without PJ and they learned to play without Travis and yet they still were able to advance. And I just think they’ve got — we’re playing better now, but so are they. They obviously know it.
I was just impressed with their team. I was telling people buy Kentucky early on in the season. I’ve seen them play. I know how physical they are. They play the game the right way. Look, defensive rebounding wins championships. It’s probably the best defensive and rebounding team in the country. Last night’s game against Houston was as physical and tough a game as you would — strength on strength.
So, you know, for me personally, it was a little easier going up against a Kansas or North Carolina who don’t see me all the time. John has seen me for many, many years. And every now and then, you know, when you are not — we’re talented, but when you may not be quite as talented, you have to have some things up your sleeve. I’ve played a lot of cards. I don’t know how many more cards we have to play, but these guys believe. They know what we need to do to have a chance to win. I’ve got one more thing. I’d prefer to be playing somebody else other than the SEC. But one of the things I am glad is the SEC is going to have a team in the Final Four and I’m really glad about that, because this league has worked really hard to get better and gain some respect, and in the game of college basketball I’m glad Auburn is a small part of that.