The North Carolina loss was about an hour old when I first heard the sentence we all knew was coming: “Roy needs to go.”
Roy Williams’ teams played for the national championship the last two seasons, and last season won it. But with him there is, among UNC fans, a lack of respect that Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski doesn’t encounter with Blue Devils fans.
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Maybe it’s because Krzyzewski didn’t follow Dean Smith (and Matt Doherty). Maybe it’s because of Williams’ small-town gee-whiz style, a style that apparently is entertaining only when the Tar Heels win. Williams is, and long has been, one of the sports best coaches. If he needs to go somewhere, it will be temporary. The beach and the golf course will suffice…
▪ Tried to buy a UMBC T-shirt in Charlotte after its victory Friday, and the school had sold out. It’s almost as if the 16th-seeded Retrievers had not prepared for their upset of top-seeded Virginia. By Saturday morning, the school had received more than 2,000 orders for gear.
Some quick facts: The school has 13,662 students; tuition for residents is $11,264 a year, and for nonresidents it is $24,492; UMBC is selling a T-shirt with the message, All Bark and All Bite.
There are reasons we annually get worked up about the NCAA basketball tournament. UMBC is one of them…
▪ Last week I wondered what would happen first – the Connecticut women lose a basketball game or Kevin Harvick loses a cup race.
Harvick is 42, the same as Jimmie Johnson and one year younger than Dale Earnhardt Jr. The knock on older drivers is that they get married, have kids and lose the sense of daring they had as younger men. But we all age at a different pace.
Johnson is 18th in the Monster Energy Cup standings and, starting with the Daytona 500, has finished 38th, 27th, 12th, 14th and ninth.
One of these years, Johnson will cease to be a factor. This isn’t it…
▪ My Final Four is Virginia and Michigan, Michigan State and Villanova. I have the Big Ten schools losing and Villanova beating the Cavaliers for the championship. I never turn in more than one bracket and once the tournament begins I never change my picks. So there.