With Friday’s second round win over Villanova, North Carolina head coach Roy Williams advanced his Tar Heels into the third round for a matchup with his former team Kansas, but he also put himself in an elite coaching class. Williams won his 700th game as a Division I men’s college basketball coach, joining the likes of Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski and Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim as active head coaches with 700 career victories.
In his 25th season as a head coach, at only Kansas and UNC, Williams has brought seven teams to the Final Four, winning a pair in Chapel Hill in 2005 and 2009. Following the win, Reggie Bullock presented Williams with his own jersey commemorating the milestone.
“You know, I’m human,” Williams told reporters following the historic win. “I wanted to get 700. I’d like to get 800, 900, 1,000, 1,500, but I know that’s not going to happen. But my focus was not on that. It really wasn’t. It was trying to get No. 25 and have this team stay and play another game.
The 700th victory wasn’t easy as North Carolina blew a 20-point lead to hang on to a 78-71 win over the Wildcats. Now, the Tar Heels have to focus on top-seeded Kansas in Sunday’s third round matchup. Williams, who spent 15 seasons in Lawrence, said on Thursday, “When I was a coach at Kansas, it was my favorite school. North Carolina was my second-favorite school. I happen to be coaching at North Carolina now, and it’s my favorite school, and Kansas is my second-favorite school.”
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Wichita State senior forward Anton Grady received some positive news on Saturday as a neurosurgeon reviewed MRI results, which are negative for spinal cord trauma.
According to a release from Wichita State, doctors believed Grady suffered a spinal cord concussion during a collision on Friday after he was taken off the floor in a stretcher and taken to a hospital in an ambulance. CT and MRI scans on Friday both turned up negative, but the news of Saturday’s results are an even more encouraging sign for Grady.
The injury for Grady occurred during a Friday loss to Alabama during the AdvoCare Invitational as the senior’s condition has improved since the collision. Grady will receive physical therapy over the next few days and doctors will check his progress before he is released from the hospital.
Grady has been alert and responsive to questions and had feeling in his extremities on Friday, but the use of his arms and legs was limited. By Saturday morning, Grady had improved the use of his extremities.
The 6-foot-8 Grady has averaged 9 points and 6 rebounds per game this season in his first season with the Shockers. The Cleveland State transfer is shooting 39 percent from the field.
Colorado sophomore forward Tory Miller has been reprimanded by the Pac-12 and he also apologized for biting Air Force’s Hayden Graham earlier this week.
During Colorado’s win over Air Force on Wednesday, Miller was assessed a Flagrant 2 Dead Ball Technical Foul and ejected with 12:25 left in the second half after biting Graham during a loose ball.
In a release from the Pac-12, they announced reprimanding Miller, but he will not be suspended.
“All of our student-athletes must adhere to the Pac-12’s Standards of Conduct and Sportsman-ship,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said in the release. “Regardless of Mr. Miller’s frustration and emotion, such behavior is unacceptable and he is being appropriately reprimanded.”
Miller also released his apology in the same release.
“I would like to apologize for my actions during the Air Force game. I would like to apologize to Hayden Graham, Air Force, my teammates and fans. It was a heat of the moment thing. I’m an emotional player, but I let my emotions get the best of me. I will use this as a learning experience and focus on helping my teammates and respecting my opponents for the rest of the season and beyond,” Miller said.
For Miller to not be suspended for this is good news for him and Colorado since he won’t miss any additional action, but did the Pac-12 make the right decision on this?