North Carolina coach Roy Williams will always hold a spot in his heart for the Jayhawks.
It was the Kansas administration that gave him a shot to be a major college basketball head coach and stuck by him through some ups and downs early in his career. And when the lure of North Carolina proved to be too much, the split with Kansas was amicable.
"I'm really being truthful," Williams said Thursday, on the eve of the No. 1 seed Tar Heels' game against No. 13 seed Ohio in the Midwest Regional semifinals. "My first chancellor at North Carolina said it's not immoral to love two institutions, and I think there's some truth to that."
As fate would have it, Williams could coach against his former school for a spot in the Final Four.
The second-seeded Jayhawks play No. 11 seed North Carolina State on Friday night at the Edward Jones Dome. The two winners in St. Louis will play Sunday.
"I'll be ecstatic if we're still playing on Sunday, regardless of who we're playing. And I'm a Kansas fan," Williams said. "I'm interested in what's going to happen tomorrow."
Even the fans at Kansas still think fondly of Williams, even if he kept coming up just shy of winning a national championship. That was evident Thursday morning.
" I was out on my walk, and this guy says, 'Rock Chalk Jayhawk.' And you know what I said? 'Go KU,'" Williams said, before pausing for comedic effect. "And he walked about three or four more steps and he says, 'Damn, that was Roy.'"
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