UVa Coach Jason Williford says 'Hoos are Better on Offense than - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

UVa Coach Jason Williford says 'Hoos are Better on Offense than Virginia's 1995 Sweet 16 Team

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UVA basketball team practices at MSG UVA basketball team practices at MSG
UVa assistant basketball coach Jason Williford says he sees a lot of similarities between this year's Virginia team and the 1995 Wahoo team that he played on that reached the Sweet 16.

Williford says, "That was a fun time in my career back in '95 last time we were actually in it, but this group is very reminiscent of that team, a very close knit group, defensive oriented."

Jason Williford says there is one difference between the two teams.

"I'll probably get some flack from my teammates but these guys are probably a little better offensively than we were.

Virginia is the 1-seed in the East regional while Michigan State is seeded fourth, but many of the experts are picking the Spartans to win the Sweet 16 matchup.

UVa senior guard Joe Harris says, "we don't really worry about who's the underdog and who's this and who's that, we're just concerned with playing quality basketball."

UVa senior forward Adreian Payne says, "Its good that they look at it that way and they respect us, we respect them too, we just know that we have to come out and play Michigan State basketball"

UVa sophomore guard Justin Anderson says, "when its time to lace them up and like the song says, the ball is tipped, its go-time and it doesn't really matter."

Michigan State is in the Sweet 16 for the third year in a row.  Virginia only had three players with any tournament experience heading into the postseason.

UVa sophomore forward Mike Tobey says, "they definitely have some experience, Coach Izzo has done a great job, they've had a lot of success in this tournament in the past, but I know we're going to be really amped for the game and hopefully come out strong and just do what we do."

The 1995 Virginia team made it to the regional finals and Williford says he's hoping to keep the run going this year.

"Its exciting to be back, its been a long time coming, the guys have joked with me about going further than we ever did, and if we do that, that would be a good thing, we'd be in Texas, fingers crossed that that could happen."

Virginia plays Michigan State at 9:57 EST Friday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

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