The 18-team field for the NCAA tournament was announced Sunday, and Johns Hopkins was back in the postseason after sitting out last year for the first time since 1971.
The Blue Jays (10-4) will travel to play eighth-seeded Virginia (10-5) on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Klockner Stadium in Charlottesville, Va.
Here is a sampling of Pietramala’s reaction just minutes after the bracket was unveiled.
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On returning to the NCAA tournament:
We’re really excited. The guys are thrilled to have another week together. Our staff is excited to be with this group. We like this group. We’re looking forward to getting back to work. It’s nice to still be playing.
On facing the Cavaliers in the postseason for the 15th time, which is the most against one opponent in Johns Hopkins history:
There’s positives to it and negatives. The positives are you are who you are, and what’s gotten you here is going to help you continue to move forward. So I don’t believe either team will change dramatically. There may be some adjustments in terms of matchups. There may be a new offensive scheme that has been implemented since then, some little nuances. But the bottom line is, we’re both who we are. So I don’t think either of us will change. There’s a level of comfort there for probably both teams. The other part of that is sometimes it’s nice to have a new face, a fresh face. There’s so much history with both of these teams. We’re excited. We have a tremendous amount of respect for them. They obviously came out on the positive side of things when we went down there. So it’s always a challenge to play down there. I’ve always felt like Virginia plays a little differently down there, a little more excited, a little bit more of an edge, a little more aggressively, and I can’t imagine this being any different.
On if he saw any indication that team would return to the postseason during a three-game losing streak to Syracuse, Virginia and North Carolina in March:
I thought in each of those four weeks, what we did was we turned around, we put what happened behind us after we learned from it, and we moved forward. That’s when I learned a little something about this team, that we are resilient, that we did have a level of toughness. We were able to figure out how to handle success in the first five games, and now we were finding out how to handle failure. We learned how to handle that. During that four-game stretch, I thought we learned a lot about our team and I think that four-game stretch has really helped this group grow considerably.