Mike Anderson and players react to NCAA Tournament seeding, destination


Photographs by Charlie Kaijo

Arkansas guard Anton Beard, front, and other players sit at an NCAA Tournament selection show watch party Sunday, March 11, 2018, in Fayetteville.

— Arkansas coach Mike Anderson and seniors Anton Beard and Trey Thompson react to Arkansas' NCAA Tournament seeding and destination. Arkansas, a 7 seed, will face 10-seed Butler on Friday in Detroit:

Anton Beard and Trey Thompson

AB: We haven't watched too much on Butler. I haven't really watched them at all. The 7-seed in Detroit, we would like to be closer to home but that's how it goes.

AB: I tell the young guys to get ready for a battle. We have to play with a sense of urgency. My dad's side of the family is from Detroit.

TT: Postseason play is very physical. We have 3 days to prepare for what they do and just be ready to play.

TT: We have 5 seniors on the team and we're going to try to show the young guys how to handle themselves and what it takes to win.

AB: We control our own destiny.

TT: I think we can make a big run in the tournament. If we play locked in for 40 minutes we can be a tough team to beat.

TT: I think coach put the schedule together just for this moment. Playing those tough teams prepares us for this.

AB: We felt like the games we lost in the NCAA Tournament in the past we didn't come out with the right intensity.

TT: I think we're in the best conference in the country. Playing in it prepares you for the tournament.

AB: The SEC Tournament helped us a lot in getting ready for this week. It showed the young guys that they have to come with it because the competition is only going to get tougher from here.

Mike Anderson

-"The one thing you want to do is hear your name called." Going in alphabetic order killed the suspense. Making the tournament is the standard here at Arkansas.

-Anderson said he hasn't watched Butler play a lot, just a few times, but he knows its a dangerous team. "Our mindset is just to go in and go after the first game."

-I thought we played one of the more difficult schedules and our guys performed well. Like most teams, we want to be close to home but Arkansas fans will travel up there. Anderson has family in Detroit and says he's hoping to get to see them.

-Anderson said Arkansas took today off and will get back to practice tomorrow. They'll travel on Wednesday, have meetings on Thursday then play on Friday. Playing on Friday is beneficial for Arkansas, he said.

-Some young guys can get overwhelmed and we saw that this week at the SEC Tournament. They had some nerves and jitters going. The experience Jaylen, Adrio and Daryl got last year is valuable.

-It's one thing to make the NCAA Tournament and just be happy to be there. "I'm not in that mode. My goal is to win a championship."

-The bench guys were very instrumental in both wins in St. Louis. Arlando Cook, defensively, was probably the best option at the 4. Darious Hall played some of his best ball of the season as well. They dug real deep in the second half to try to climb back after the break.

-Arkansas was 8-8 against NCAA Tournament teams. Anderson said Mississippi State very well could have been the ninth SEC team in the field.

-Butler is a very good basketball team, they have big-time scorers and have some bigs that can step out and shoot the ball. Every team in this tournament is good. When you get two teams that like to really score it's a treat for the fans.

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