Former Wisconsin athletic director Pat Richter has an opinion on North Carolina basketball head coach Roy Williams, and it certainly isn't a favorable one, reports Madison.com's Adam Mertz. On the "heels" of the announcement that the Badgers will be heading to Chapel Hill for the 2011 Big Ten/ACC Challenge, Richter has asserted Williams has used his influence to ensure that the Tar Heels will never have to play a game in the Kohl Center.
Why would Williams not want to play a game in a fun environment like the KC? The answer lies in comments Williams made about the Badgers 2000 tournament run to the Final Four.
"Are you going to tell me you don't like this more than 19-17 at halftime? 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," Williams said in reference to the first half of the 2000 Final Four game between Wisconsin and Michigan State.
The comments caused Williams to receive boos when he took his Jayhawks to the Kohl Center for a pair of NCAA Tournament games in 2003. Though he made the comments a decade ago, Williams would likely still receive a frosty reception at the Kohl Center were Carolina scheduled to play the Badgers there. (More after the jump.)
"There are times we should have had them at our place, and it never happened," Richter said. "And I think Roy Williams squeals. He's never really had to pay his dues, so to speak, like a Bo Ryan and Dick Bennett."
Those are some strong (and potentially inflammatory) comments from Richter. My personal sense is that it's not terribly far-fetched that the Tar Heels have not yet been scheduled to play in Wisconsin in the Challenge, so there's no proof that Williams is throwing his weight around. Richter also noted that Carolina has nothing to lose by playing the Badgers at home, but I think it could be damaging to the Heels if Jordan Taylor and company were able to pull an upset in Chapel Hill. I'm not sure what Richter hopes to gain by making the comments he did, but he successfully added extra intrigue to the first ACC/B1G Challenge game between the Tar Heels and Badgers. Here's another take on the matter from SB Nation blog Carolina March. Also, the Mertz story includes audio of Richter's comments on the sidebar.
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