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Sunday, March 24, 2013

UNC coach Roy Williams: Loss stings, but not because of history with KU

North Carolina head coach Roy Williams, center, puts his hands on his head during after a missed bucket by the Tar Heels in the second half, Sunday, March 24, 2013 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

North Carolina head coach Roy Williams, center, puts his hands on his head during after a missed bucket by the Tar Heels in the second half, Sunday, March 24, 2013 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

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KU-UNC reaction

Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self, Travis Releford, Jeff Withey

Kansas coach Bill Self and seniors Travis Releford and Jeff Withey talk to reporters following the Jayhawks' 70-58 victory over North Carolina on March 24, 2013.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

UNC coach Roy Williams, Marcus Paige, James Michael McAdoo

North Carolina coach Roy Williams, guard Marcus Paige and forward James Michael McAdoo talk to reporters following the Jayhawks' 70-58 victory over UNC on March 24, 2013.

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Box score

KU-UNC

— For the first time in his three match-ups with his former school, North Carolina coach Roy Williams watched his team be the more physical team during Sunday's third-round showdown at Sprint Center.

By game's end, however, the scene was the same as it had been after the first two meetings in 2008 and 2012 — an emotional Williams sitting at the podium congratulating Kansas and talking about the disappointment of another season finished.

“The fact that I coached there for 15 years is extremely important to me,” Williams said following KU's 70-58 victory Sunday. “But it doesn't add anything today. I hurt for myself. I hurt for the kids in the locker room. The fact that it was Kansas, you know, (in) 1990 we lost to UCLA in the second round. I'm still pissed off about that because we were pretty doggone good. I remember UTEP in '92, Virginia in ('95). I can name every one of them. Every one of them hurt. That's it.”

After the game, North Carolina's players, who have come to love Williams like a father, saw their coach's 0-3 record against KU two ways.

“It hurts a lot,” senior Dexter Strickland said. “I know how much it means to him, but I don't think we were as focused on how much it means to him as we were just trying to get to the Sweet 16.”

Added sophomore guard P.J. Hairston: “I don't think it's just about beating Kansas. It's about winning, period. We wanted to win him a championship. And, unfortunately, it didn't end the way we wanted it to.”

For 20 minutes Sunday, it looked as if Williams might finally break his personal losing streak to the Jayhawks. North Carolina (25-11) raced out to a 12-2 lead, was by far the more aggressive team and led 30-19 late in the half before taking a 30-21 lead into the locker room at the break.

That all changed quickly, though, when the teams returned to the floor for the second half, as Kansas started the final 20 minutes with a 16-3 run and led by 12, 50-38, with less than 10 minutes into the final frame.

“I felt like we were fine at halftime,” Hairston said. “We were definitely all over the place on defense, causing a lot of turnovers (12), and we thought we could come out in the second half and do the same thing. But when we came out, Kansas was the aggressor.”

With every KU bucket, the pro-Kansas Sprint Center crowd grew louder, fueling the Jayhawks' 49-28 second-half onslaught.

“Yeah, it felt like we were playing at Kansas,” UNC junior Reggie Bullock said.

Both teams shot terribly in the first half, with Kansas making just seven of 28 shots (25 percent) and UNC hitting just 11 of 42 (26.2 percent). But the Jayhawks (31-5) caught fire in the second half, shooting 63 percent (17-of-27) to finish at 44 percent for the game. UNC remained ice cold, finishing just 22-of-73 (30 percent) for the night. For the umpteenth time this season, KU center Jeff Withey played a huge role forcing KU's opponent to shoot such a poor percentage. In addition to his 16 points and 16 rebounds, Withey blocked five shots and altered countless others.

“When I got into the lane, I was worried about the shot-blocker too much,” Bullock admitted after the game.

Added UNC big man James Michael McAdoo: “I think (Withey) does a great job of working with his guards, not really leaving the rim that much, which made it really hard to finish a lot of plays.”

The victory moved the Jayhawks into the Sweet 16 for the third consecutive season and, for the second year in a row, sent Williams home with a heavy heart.

“Congratulations to Kansas,” Williams said. “They were phenomenal in the second half today. ... They're a No. 1 seed for a reason.”

Comments

chindo 1 year ago

“Yeah, it felt like we were playing at Kansas,” UNC junior Reggie Bullock said.

Hmmm, really? Why don'cha come down for a game sometime at Allen Fieldhouse? pretty sure the sprint center would be as quiet as a wheat field on a moonlit night in comparison.

And +1 for the positive words for Coach Williams. Cool dude, and I'll always think of him fondly. No boos from me. He's always been a class act and just a good guy.

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Tom Richmond 1 year, 1 month ago

It's finally time for Coach Williams detractors to get over it. What many of you have forgotten is that Roy took our basketball program from probation to national prominence. He is a Hall of Fame Coach and a great guy.

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William Blake 1 year, 1 month ago

Tharpe was the difference in this game. Without him we would be sitting at home, crying in our beer, and planning for next year.

Without Tharpe we wouldn't have had the option to bench Ben. We had to either bench Ben or EJ, because there was no way possible for us to turn it around with both of them struggling on the court at the same time.

Tharpe's first trey was the beginning of what put UNC away. And his later two treys came at pivotal times when we needed a boost to keep our pad out of reach for UNC.

Tharpe is our best closer. This guy wants the rock at the end of the clock. That is a characteristic you have to have in a closer, more so than just being a good shooter.

That's two games this year I chock up to Tharpe for giving us the save. The other was OSU in Stillwater.

The loss hurts Roy because his team goes home. But also, it is a reminder how his coaching philosophy is flawed.

If Roy had stayed at Kansas all these years, he would still be without a championship... I'm convinced of that. Kansas doesn't score near the talent of UNC... we have to win it with hard work, bringing up mostly second tier players, and maintain the best coaching philosophy.

Look how soft all those McD's for UNC played. Those guys aren't prepared to fight it out tough. When we finally brought them game in the second half they folded like a cheap suitcase.

I remember how soft we played with Roy as our coach. We had plenty of talent but we didn't have what it takes.

Now we have become accustomed to seeing toughness, so when our boys come out soft, we complain (and should). Building a team around a primary philosophy on strong defense can only happen by building character and toughness within the ranks.

Jeff Withey is one tough hombre! He understands it more than anyone on this team and I'm not sure we can lose another game because of his toughness.

When Jeff got popped in the face with an elbow, he winced and stayed in the game. 99% of the players in D1 would have been crying on the sidelines.

I'm going to miss Jeff Withey when he's gone!

Rock Chalk!

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jhawkjedi 1 year, 1 month ago

Roy Williams is a great coach and a good person. He did more to build KU basketball into what it is today than anyone other than Phog Allen. The program had serious issues when he took over, despite having just won the national championship. Almost immediately, he turned it into one of the elite 2 or 3 programs in the country, which we had not been in many years prior to his tenure. Had he stayed at KU instead of going home to NC, he would have won championships here. KU fans that choose to boo &/or hate Williams are either disingenuous, ignorant, classless or a combination of the same. Let it go. It is well past time to give Roy his just rewards.

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kufankam 1 year, 1 month ago

i am of the opinion that roy should be welcomed back to KU (after he retires) for a game to be honored at a halftime. i think he deserves to have all his players come back and join with him watching a highlight reel play on the video board! he brought SO MANY great moments to lawrence. we cheer for them on a yearly basis during pre-game videos.... why not celebrate those moments with him once it is all said and done?! i think an extended standing ovation would be appropriate and would be great to see once he has hung it up. i really hope KU does something like this to honor one of our finest coaches!

1

HAWKTOPIA 1 year, 1 month ago

12,13,18. The points UNC has lost by to KU since HCBS arrived.

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Eric Dawson 1 year, 1 month ago

Folks, first hand reports from the Sprint Center -- compared to the write up of a reporter who may have an ax to grind, or otherwise heard what he was looking for because it would be a "story" -- were this:

As one would expect in a virtually "home" setting, the crowd booed every "visiting" player as they were announced, and then booed the "visiting" coach as he was announced. It was nothing more than the usual treatment for a visiting team, and Roy got no worse than his players. In fact, reports were that applause could also be heard coming from the Kansas fans, interspersed with the par-for-the-course boos, as Roy was introduced.

So don't buy what the shysters and hucksters are selling. It's a waste of your energy and a disservice to the fans.

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Ronald Cox 1 year, 1 month ago

Our teams are great at sportsmanship. Our fans by booing Roy are not fans, they are jerks and should be banned from games!

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JayHawkFanToo 1 year, 1 month ago

Did anyone else think that the elbow on Withey's face should have been a flagrant foul? Replays clearly show that McAdoo's arm did not stay up and came down and forward until it made contact with Withey's eye when his arm was perpendicular to his body. If Withey's eye swelled up shut, it could have changed the game big time

On a separate note, classy move by Coach Williams pulling his starters out with a minute left and not turning the end of the game into a hopeless foul fest.

1

Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 1 month ago

As a KU alum and Williams Fund member, I would like to offer respectful apology to Roy Williams for any potentially disrespectful behavior in the handshake line by one of our very young players. I am sure Bill Self will have an appropriate conversation with the youngster, and remind all of our players what a priviledge and standard-bearing responsibility it is to wear our jersey. That is unbecoming behavior to display towards any coach, especially one who will forever be a part of Jayhawk traditions.

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MrPilot 1 year, 1 month ago

I feel sorry for Coach Williams (but not for North Carolina) having to endure a third loss in a row to Kansas. If it is true that some in the crowd were booing him today (as I've read in a couple of stories) that's very sad. The man still loves Kansas, and Kansas should be grateful to have had him as our Head Coach for 15 years. He was a great steward of our history and tradition.

Thank you, Coach Williams, and Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

1

Steve Gantz 1 year, 1 month ago

The other times we've gone up against Roy, I've felt like we've been evenly matched and felt satisfied beating them. Today I felt sorry for Roy. Not sure what's happened over there, but he's got a pretty bad team there. It was pretty obvious why they were on the bubble. I still have great admiration for what he's done at both schools. The Yahoo story said that the Sprint Center crowd booed him. Is that really true? I know there's a few knuckleheads with hard feelings towards him, but would KU fans really boo Roy?

0

Benjamin Jones 1 year, 1 month ago

Like Coach Williams, I'm still pissed off about that loss to UCLA in 1990, too.

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Joe Joseph 1 year, 1 month ago

“Yeah, it felt like we were playing at Kansas,” UNC junior Reggie Bullock said.

Clearly Reggie Bullock has never played in AFH...

5

RockyMountainHawk 1 year, 1 month ago

Did anyone else see Anrio Adams disrespect coach Williams in the handshake line? Everyone else shook his hand and said something. Adams just gave him a dirty look and turned his head. I didn't get it on the dvr so I can't look back, but can someone verify that I wasn't imagining things?

0

741hawk 1 year, 1 month ago

Tarheels played an Angry Withey.

1

RedJay 1 year, 1 month ago

“Yeah, it felt like we were playing at Kansas,” UNC junior Reggie Bullock said.

Sadly, you will never have the privledge of playing "at Kansas," Sir. We'll treat you to the real deal, just tell that fatherly coach of yours to pick up the phone.

That said, our crowd straight brought it tonight. Hats off to all of you, wish I could have been there when Withey went all dunkety dunk donk on that place.

1

jaybate 1 year, 1 month ago

Now, let's go skin and eat some Wolverine.

Roast it over a cottonwood fire and baste it with some Sunflower Sauce.

Ad astra per aspera

0

Suzi Marshall 1 year, 1 month ago

Your the best Roy. Kansas will always love you for what you did for us.

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jaybate 1 year, 1 month ago

Here is what I have to say about Roy's losses at KU in 1990, 1992, and 1996.

2008.

2012.

2013.

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jaybate 1 year, 1 month ago

Here is what I have to say about UNC being physical.

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GeoHawk15 1 year, 1 month ago

Love my Jayhawks, but you stress me out. Rock Chalk!

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jaybate 1 year, 1 month ago

Here is what I have to say about Roy.

Next.

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tahawk81 1 year, 1 month ago

Id like to see all the bitterness towards Roy to stop. Its been 10 years, we have a NC, and we have beat him 3 times now. He is always gracious in defeat and did alot for the University. I was attending KU when he left and was as mad as anyone. I root for him now when they arent playing us. Great win today, lets keep it going.

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KJD 1 year, 1 month ago

Wowza, some good insight to our team defense and our coaching from James Michael McAdoo: "I think (Withey) does a great job of working with his guards, not really leaving the rim that much, which made it really hard to finish a lot of plays."

The next step in the tournament is against two talented Michigan guards–Burke and Hardaway Jr–along with a talented Freshman front court player in Robinson "The Big Dog JR" who is a bit smaller than dad and not showing the same paint presence as his dad quite yet. Michigan center 6-10 McGary was good against VCU–thanks for knocking those guys off maze and blue–though you will always like Withey in every match up in this tournament. Let's repeat: Withey is the man!

When Withey gets into Monster mode the south bracket gets in trouble.

This relationship between guard defense and Withey defense is also great insight to what Releford and Johnson do. I love these Seniors for getting us to another Sweet 16.

1

ahpersecoachingexperience 1 year, 1 month ago

Awkward moment when you realize a 16 seed gave you a tougher game than the 8 seed with your former coach and McDonalds all Americans up and down the bench.

0

Jesse Johnson 1 year, 1 month ago

Interesting that the first upsetting tourney losses that pop into Roy's head are from 90, 92 and 96... not 97 and 98 which are the first ones that pop into my head.

0

chriz 1 year, 1 month ago

--“When I got into the lane, I was worried about the shot-blocker too much,” Bullock admitted after the game.

How many times have we heard that? Withey's fantastic.

3

Micky Baker 1 year, 1 month ago

The players need to learn from this and play with this intensity from the start, but under control. When Kansas was under control they were clearly the best team today and the second half, in particular the first 10 minutes is what can win a championship.

0

741hawk 1 year, 1 month ago

Great move by Coach to sit MClemore. KU plays so much better with Tharpe at point. It makes EJ the excellent player he can be at the 2.

0

Steve Zimmerman 1 year, 1 month ago

Congrats to your 300, coach! I wonder if you keep the same starting line-up or will it's Naa's turn to sub BMac. Either way, godspeed Rock Chalk all the way!

0

jayhawkinnc 1 year, 1 month ago

Roy,

Your Kansas team didn't lose to Virginia in '96. Your team lost to Virginia in 1995. 1996 was the year KU lost to Syracuse in the Elite 8.

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johninkc1 1 year, 1 month ago

Classy remarks by Williams. Hope we can take care of Michigan the same way.

4

davehawkSWK 1 year, 1 month ago

Coach, you were a class act when coaching at KU and are a class act at NC. NC had a good season; but KU has had a better season. It looked for a while that I was going to witness a game with a sense of Deja Vu from the '90's when the Hawks were highly rated but lost to a lower ranked team. This time, however, they came back and took care of business.

Good luck to you coach, next year. RCJH

2

Joel Hood 1 year, 1 month ago

Good ole UNCle Roy. Glad you you are there and Bill is here.

2

741hawk 1 year, 1 month ago

Someone said that was about as good a half of basketball as a team could play. I agree. NOTE: Wouldn't you have loved to have been in the locker room at halftime to have heard what the coaches said / the adjustments they made?

0

jayhawkinnc 1 year, 1 month ago

Some interesting numbers regarding Self and Roy:

Self got to 300 wins at KU in 10 seasons, Roy got to 300 wins at KU at the end of his 11th season.

Self is 4-1 lifetime head to head vs. Roy.....1-1 while Self was at Illinois and 3-0 at KU.

In the KU/UNC series, Roy is 1-5 lifetime against "the other team". Roy went 1-2 vs. UNC while at KU and is 0-3 vs. KU while at UNC.

All of Self's wins vs. Roy's have all been by double digits: 16, 18, 13 and 12 respectively.

Roy had 282 wins in his first 10 years at KU. Coincidentally, he has racked up exactly 282 wins in his first 10 years at UNC.

3

Marc Frey 1 year, 1 month ago

Rock Chalk. Lets right a couple of things and move on.

0

Jason Keller 1 year, 1 month ago

Doesn't get any classier than Roy Williams. Even when they were up at half, he couldn't help but credit the Jayhawks. Roy, I'm happy you pulled through your health scare last year, we aren't done with you yet. :) Until next time, old friend.

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