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No. 1-seed Ohio State (20-13, 10-8 Big Ten) 84, No.8-seed UNC Asheville (23-10, 10-4 Big South) 66
March 18, 2008
2008 MasterCard NIT First Round
Value City Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Attendance: 7,117

Postgame Quotes

Thad Matta, Ohio State head coach
On the game
“We did a good job offensively. As a team, we had great execution and ball movement. I give UNC Asheville a lot of credit for a great game. They took great shots and moved the ball well. I have great respect for that team.”

On the team’s performance
“Coming into the game, I was a little concerned. However, the team had an intense and active practice and the best shoot-around. That really gave me hope coming into tonight’s game. They had great energy and I felt we were in good shape.”

On Kenny George’s presence
“We had two different game plans coming into tonight because they are two different teams with him. I was very impressed with how Kenny George played. He did a lot of things for their team and played well. I told our guys to attack the ball and move it around. When he wasn’t in, we planned on going inside. When he was in, we wanted to move the ball fast.”

Jamar Butler, senior guard
On breaking the single-season made three-point basket record
“I didn’t even know until you told me. It’s neat to have another record. I’m proud and it’s an honor to be included with all the other names up there. It’s nice to leave a footprint at Ohio State.”

On his double-double
“I’ve been getting them this season because of the style of play. We have a lot of ball screens, so I’m able to get open shots and distribute the ball. My teammates deserve just as much credit because they have to make the shots too and get me the ball.”

Kosta Koufos, freshman center
On playing against Kenny George
“He is a great player and it is something I will be able to tell my grandchildren one day. UNC Asheville is a tough team. They came out hard and I played him to the best of my ability.”

David Lighty, sophomore guard
On the Ohio State’s offensive play
“We wanted attack the basket. We did well drawing the defense in and kicking the ball out to the guards. As a team, we really wanted to get up and down the floor and we did a great job doing that.”

Eddie Biedenbach, UNC Asheville head coach
On Ohio State
“I really have to take my hat off to Ohio State. Thad Matta is one of the best coaches in the country. He lost three great players last year and they are still really good and managed to beat Michigan State and Purdue down the stretch.”

On Ohio State
“This was a great place to play. We came ready to play we were able to get healthy and we gave it everything we had tonight. We didn’t play our best game but we played with effort.”

On Jamar Butler
“Butler is the guy that makes OSU go. He has played on some great teams here at Ohio State and has been a solid leader for them all season long.”

Bryan Smithson, senior guard
On the game
“Just take a look at the turnover column and you can see why we lost this game tonight. When it came to turnovers I think it was our worst game by far this season. K.J. (Garland, senior guard) and I had eight turnover and we can’t do that and win games.”