"It's like we're rock stars, just wanting to touch us. For us, we think we are normal people, so we thought those people were insane." -- Butler sophomore Gordon Hayward on the thousands of fans who greeted the team bus at 3 a.m. Sunday morning after the Bulldogs returned home from the Regional Final.
"It made me stop fighting with coach, cave myself in maybe and say, 'OK, I'm gonna see it your way, let's see what happens.'" -- Michigan State's Durrell Summers on Tom Izzo benching him in the Spartan's opening-round Big Ten tournament loss to Minnesota last month. Summers has averaged 22.5 points a game in the NCAA tournament.
"I took it personal. We got killed on the boards. Ever since then, I've always tried to become a better rebounder. We always play against teams who supposedly have more athletic big guys than we do. At the end of the game, we usually out-rebound them." -- Duke's Lance Thomas on the memory of being out-rebounded 45-19 by West Virginia in a second-round NCAA tournament loss in 2008.
"Incredibly successful, but it leaves you wanting a little bit more. It's like a good piece of apple pie your grandma makes. You crave a little bit more all the time." -- Michigan State coach Tom Izzo on the career of enigmatic forward Raymar Morgan, who has finished strong during this NCAA tournament run.
"Love it. I'm an Indiana kid. I grew up 20 minutes away [in Zionsville]. The worst thing I could say is, 'Don't compare us to Hickory.' I love being the underdog. I love being a team people think has overachieved." -- Butler coach Brad Stevens on the comparisons between his team and the movie, "Hoosiers."
"It's not hard at all. There's stuff on television. All you have to do is start looking around the Internet. And I can always make stuff up if I want to.'' -- West Virginia's Da'Sean Butler describing the process of manufacturing an "us-against-the-world" mentality.
"That would be completely dumb." -- Michigan State forward Draymond Green on the idea that his team could overlook Butler.
"In some years, we were the more hunted team throughout the season, so maybe you see (the hate) more in those years. With this team, we've gotten better as the year has gone along, and as we've advanced farther, you see it happening a little more." -- Duke assistant coach Chris Collins comparing the hatred this team has inspired to previous Blue Devils squads.
"I think you could ask (Andy) Rautins or (Jacob) Pullen, they would know." -- Butler's Matt Howard on the defense of the perimeter defense of teammates Ronald Nored and Willie Veasley.
"We don't have professional franchises. There's not really anybody else there to root for. ... It goes back generations. I can remember sitting on my grandfather's lap listening to West Virginia football and basketball games. I think a large part, if not all of the state of West Virginia, grew up like that." -- Bob Huggins on the bond between his team and the residents of West Virginia.