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2016 NCAA Tournament: Boeheim & Syracuse Players Talk Middle Tennessee

The Orange took care of business against Dayton and now they turn their attention to the Biue Raiders.

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

No one gave either of the Syracuse Orange and Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders much of a chance in the 2016 NCAA Tournament. Now, one of them will head to the Sweet Sixteen. That's the tourney for you.

Jim Boeheim, the Syracuse players, and the assistant coaches all sat down to talk about Sunday's game and here's some highlights.

Jim Boeheim on how he scouted Middle Tennessee:

"Adrian Autry was responsible for (Middle Tennessee State) and Gerry McNamara was responsible for Michigan State. I didn't even think about the game, to be honest with you, I didn't think about it the whole week. I didn't even give it a thought.

"I obviously have seen Michigan State. So I knew what they were. But I didn't think about it until the end of the game. I watched the game. So that was — but those games don't help us that much, because it just doesn't help us. Scouting, we don't look at most games that people play. We only look at certain games. And we only need to know certain things.

"But I guess to get to what your question is, we come in and both guys prepare like we're going to play that team, up until the game's over. And then we all focus on what Middle Tennessee does. But it was clear to me — I had talked to a pro scout, and he had told me, and some people had told him, that this was a very, very good team. And when you watch them play, it's pretty obvious that they're a very, very good team.''

Boeheim on anything he sees that he thinks Syracuse can exploit:

"They don't have a spot that's a weak spot, because to me I look at teams and we try to look for a weak offensive spot that our zone can not worry about too much. They can score at all five positions. The five guys on that team can score 20 points. And they probably have. I don't even have to look at them. But they're all capable of scoring 20, 25 points. And those are the teams that from a defensive standpoint, no matter what defense you play, those are the teams you always worry about."

Boeheim on Tyler Roberson and how he treated the junior a few weeks back:

"We need him to do it. That's why I was so disappointed with him at a couple of different stages in this season. And it's why — and he knows this — that's why what I said was right. And he deserved it, because he's letting himself down and the team down when he doesn't play like that. I mean, he's not going to get 18 rebounds every game, but he can't get two or four. We're not going to be successful with that.

"We don't expect him to get 18. Just things went that way. But we need him to be active and to be effective on defense, on offense and especially rebounding the basketball. And that's why the cause for me to have to get some message through to him. And we need him to perform at that level. I love the kid, but we need him to perform at that level. And when he doesn't, it makes it hard for us to win.''

Boeheim reflecting on that other time Syracuse played (and lost) to a 15-seed:

"We were the first one. We lost to a good Richmond team in Washington, D.C. (actually College Park, Md.) and they had the building, obviously, the fans. We hadn't been playing great at the end of the year. We had a lot of issues and we just didn't play very well. It's not a good feeling. But there's not much you can say about it. It's very difficult when you lose that game.''

Adrian Autry on his expectations for Syracuse's second-round opponent:

"I’m never surprised. At this time of year, you look at college basketball this year, there’s a lot of different games that go different ways. I don’t expect anything …We’re just prepared as if Michigan State would have won."

Malachi Richardson on MTSU:

"They’re a great team. They just beat a team that people had actually wining the national championship. So we just gotta go out there and play."

Trevor Cooney on his "playoff neckbeard":

"I got a haircut before we left. The beard has been pretty steady. I don't like it too long, but if we keep winning, I'll keep it growing. It's been years since I've been clean-shaven. Before college."

Listen to more interviews and quotes in these videos...