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Former Wisconsin AD Victim of Vast Roy Williams Conspiracy

I assume most Carolina fans reacted to the announcement UNC would be playing Wisconsin next fall with mild interest and slight grumbling about the slow tempo the Badgers play. I'd think Wisconsin fans' reaction would be similarly low-key. They have a tough game ahead of them, but they're a good team that did take down Duke a few years back. But as was pointed out in the comments, there's a subset of Wisconsinites who really dislike Roy Williams, and former athletic director Pat Richter is here to give voice to their rage:

"It still is a joke," said Richter, whose full comments can be heard Wednesday at 6 p.m. on WTLX. "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."

And why does the Badger State have Roy Williams quaking in fear? Because he said something mean about the slow play of the Wisconsin-Michigan State 2000 Championship game, six months later, after a Coaches vs. Cancer game. Wisconsin fans were offended enough to boo Williams when the Midwest Regional came to Madison in 2002 – Kansas would cut down the nets there – and former players still held a grudge in 2005, when UNC beat the Badgers on the way to the national championship.

Needless to say, this is all kind of ridiculous. Roy Williams prefers to play and watch a fast-paced game, and never made a secret about it. To think a poor welcome in an arena where he won an NCAA regional would make him pull strings to avoid playing in Madison is absurd, though. Coaches don't appear to be given any input, and UNC's schedule has typically been full of rematches from previous year championships anyway. I don't think Wisconsin meeting UNC on the road for the first time after two years of home games takes a lot of string-puling to make happen. 

The funniest bit to me was the quote from former Badger Mike Kelly in 2005 though:

"To single out our style as if this was going to be a major epidemic in college basketball, it seemed like a low blow. It seemed like sour grapes."

The ACC, of course, is currently being plagued by an influx of slow-tempo basketball, led by Dick Bennett's son Tony, the head coach at Virginia. And although Roy Williams is diplomatic about it, UNC fans have been quite vocal in their dislike of the style of play. And the Heels will continue to push the tempo – the 69 possessions they managed against the Badgers in their last meeting counted as breakneck speed in Madison that year – and now they may have a bit of bulletin board material to add fuel to the fire. Because Richter went on to say:

"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."

I'm sure that's quite news to Roy Williams.