Kentucky won its eighth national championship on Monday night, defeating Kansas 67-59 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to complete the most successful season in program history. Here is what the Cats had to say about their title:
“Listen, this team deserves all the accolades they've been getting. I wanted everyone to see it because it became, 'They're more talented than everybody.' We were the best team this season. I've wanted that. I told them I wanted this one to be for the ages. Go out there and show everyone what kind of team you are. It doesn't matter how young you are, it's how you play together.”
“We put in a lot of hard work this year. This was our goal. It feels really good. We took every game as if it was just basketball. We've been playing basketball our whole life. I wanted that buzzer to go off. That's what I really wanted. When we finally won it, it just didn't feel real.”
“It means a lot to me. I worked hard to get here. Coach Cal told me I was going to have a big game.”
“I mean, it was great. I just had to let (the trophy) go because I had to get up to my mom and my family. It would have taken too long to get up there holding that big trophy.”
“It's just a joy to win a national championship, especially as a freshman with this team we have. We have a great team. We go out there play hard and defend.”
“I couldn't believe it. I don't even know who I went to. I think I ran to Darius. I’m an NCAA champion.
“I've won three (high school) state championships so I kind of knew what it would feel like but you can't plan it. You never know what feeling you're going to feel. I didn't know what to do. I was just so excited and running around.”
“It's kind of disbelief right now. For me, I was just a fan a few years just like them. I'm sure the state is going crazy right now.”
“It just feels great. Words can't explain it. We set this goal to be national champions. To reach that goal feels great. It's a sense of relief. We're national champions now and can't nobody take that from us.”
“This is what you play for. This is the tournament. This is the biggest stage. And we're the only team that ended its season with a win. Oh, better than I expected by far. You see me wearing these shirts? No one else has them.”
“I can’t really describe it. I’m just so happy for coach Cal. I’m so glad he got this national title. He deserves it. I’m happy for my teammates. I’m happy for coach Cal’s family, too. I’m grateful to be a part of it."