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.

March 24, 2013



KU-UNC reaction

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.

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.

Box score


— 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.”


Jim Johnson 5 years, 1 month ago

I'd like to say we miss you Roy but nay we don't. You made the best deal for Kansas and we will never look back once and say we wish you were here. We had fun when you were here but it was getting pretty old when you wouldn't recruit aganist NC.we knew where your heart was and glad you went. ROCK CHALK Bill Self. In my humble opinion the best head coach in the country.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 1 month ago

I heard through the grapevine that Roy and Dean Smith had an agreement. Roy recruits west of the Mississippi and Dean gets everything east. Not sure how that jives with your comment about not recruiting against NC.

Kevin Enos 5 years, 1 month ago

I love those strong 2nd half finishes. What a nutty 1st half, but I never lose faith with this team. They find ways to win. I shouldn't say anything about Jeff's hair since he's playing so well, but it is time for another haircut, lol. On to Michigan. I don't know much about them this year but as long as they're not a small, fast team I won't panic. It seems like it's always the small, quick teams that give us trouble in the tourney but when we're playing a powerhouse team it seems to bring out our best.

UneasyRider 5 years, 1 month ago

Roy gave us a good 15 years, but Bill has been much better. Can't blame Roy for going home, but Bill was a great replacement. Was in Chapel Hill after Roy left, have front tag saying KU grad, getting gas at station. NC fan joked, are you looking for Roy, said no, think we are better off with Bill. Surprised by response, fan said, think you're right.

jonas_opines 5 years, 1 month ago

It's worked out pretty well for all parties involved. It would be nice, at this point, if they wouldn't boo him anymore. We should be past it by now.

CarolinaBlue 5 years, 1 month ago

I agree. It's time to move on but I wouldn't say that Kansas is superior to Carolina because Self has beaten Roy three times. Not to make excuses but two match ups Kansas had the better more experienced team. Losing Marshall to injury hurt in last years regional but Kansas did what they needed to do and won. I think it both worked out for each team but if Memphis makes free throws in 2008 then Self is still without a ring. But that's why they play the game. So don't bash Roy because he only took Kansas to final fours and didn't win them. Sometimes there is a lot of luck involved. What Self has done in the Big 12 is remarkable and no offense to that conference but Kansas does not have to face one of the elite teams every year like Carolina does with Duke. With Kansas playing Texas, K State, OSU, it is not any where near comparable to Duke and Carolina having to battle year in and year out. I'm not bashing Kansas because they are one of the elite teams but they don't have that other powerhouse to play every year. Whether people bash Roy or not, I'll take 6 conference championships and 2 National Championships while going head to head with Duke all day.

bwag 5 years, 1 month ago

ACC had 3 teams in, versus 5 for the (tournament stinkin') Big 12.

msezdsit 5 years, 1 month ago

Sounds like a sore loser. At least Roy is gracious in losing, unlike some UNC fans who have no life.Maybe you should go to the beach.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

So I guess it's perfectly OK to be a troll, but not to call one on their trolling.

msezdsit 5 years, 1 month ago

Guess what, we have another game. You can pretend all you want. How does all your crap change the fact that KU is better than UNC.

msezdsit 5 years, 1 month ago

....."but if Memphis makes free throws in 2008 then Self is still without a ring."

I think there are so many games that a comment like this would apply to that no one would win a game. It is pretty lame. If UNC hadn't fired Matt Doherty, He would have won the ring for his team instead of it being a gift to Roy.

jayhawklawrence 5 years, 1 month ago

Why can't people be grateful for what Roy did for us and show some class?

People that are used to winning would not make some of these comments.

msezdsit 5 years, 1 month ago

Yep, Roy did a great job here and when people talk about our great history in basketball, he was a 15year chunk of it. Can't take that back or change it. He handed off a great program to Self and Self has grown it from there. Roy couldn't be any more gracious towards KU than he is and the fans should return that to him.

CHEEZIT 5 years, 1 month ago

Roy's getting old. He called timeouts before the media timeouts yesterday. He never did that when he was here. He would let his teams play through it.!!!

jayhawkjohn71 5 years, 1 month ago

Yeah, Roy and the devil, Dean Smith did indeed have an agreement on recruiting. Roy west of the Miss. river and the devil everything east of the river. Thats why we ended up with all the softies from Calif. Self comes in and immediately starts getting players from all parts of the country including east coast! Roy's problem was that he sold his soul to the devil Dean Smith. I'm sure glad Roy left because we now have the younger, better, non-crying coach. ROCK CHALK!

Calvin Mabry 5 years, 1 month ago

When Roy was here I thought he was the best coach in the country. I was upset that he left but understood and didn't blame him. He has ALWAYS been very gracious with KU. I'm sure the day will come when Roy and the Tarheels knock us out of the tournament. I won't be happy about it but at least I can say we lost to a great team and a great coach. I now believe Coach Self to be the best there is. I don't know what I'd do if we were beaten out by the likes of K-State or, even worse, WSU! At least Roy has a proven record of respect for the Jayhawks andtheir coach, unlike those two coaches.

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