North Carolina coach Roy Williams wants to steer clear of Madison, WI, at least according to former Badgers athletic director Pat Richter.
Richter, speaking on a weekly radio appearance, said Williams is afraid of the reception he’d receive in Madison, where Wisconsin fans are still steaming over disparaging remarks Williams made about the school’s 2000 Final Four team.
“It still is a joke,” Richter said on the show. “I know darn well that you’ll never get Roy Williams here. He won’t come to Wisconsin. He’s afraid the people are going to boo him and everything else. I think that’s all bogus.”
Speaking after his Kansas team won a high-scoring match-up in the 2000-01 season, Williams singled out the Badgers’ club, which bumped and banged its way to a 19-17 halftime lead in an eventual loss to Michigan State in the 2000 Final Four.
“Are you going to tell me you don’t like this more than 19-17 at halftime?” Williams said at the time, speaking of a 99-98 Kansas win over UCLA. “I’m not a nuclear physicist, but you make the choice. We’re trying to make it a game of basketball skills, not a weight room contest.”
Wisconsin, forever loyal to its Badgers, has not forgotten it. And they’re even more bitter now that November’s Big Ten-ACC match-up between Wisconsin and North Carolina will be in Chapel Hill.