Roy Williams has no sympathy for the devil

February, 9, 2011
2/09/11
11:17
AM ET
Hey, it's UNC-Duke day!

I know, I know. Many of you are perpetually sick of UNC and Duke. Many of you think both programs are overhyped, overplayed and overloved. Many of you think ESPN is culpable for this disproportionate coverage. This seems to hold especially true of Midwestern college hoops fans; my friends used to say this sort of stuff to me all the time.

I get it. And sure, there have been years when the battle for Tobacco Road wasn't all that competitive -- like, you know, last season -- and probably didn't deserve wall-to-wall coverage. But this year, UNC is 7-1 and Duke is 8-1 in the ACC. The Blue Devils are a prospective national title team. UNC is playing as well as any team not named Texas, Ohio State, Pittsburgh or Kansas. This game should be pretty great, and I'm not going to hesitate to talk about it. Sorry. As the Internet would say: Deal with it.

Which brings us to our first Tar Heels-related item of the day: North Carolina coach Roy Williams' brief foray into signs of the occult.

Of what do I speak? During his pregame news conference this week, Williams made the point that Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith have been so effective for such a long period at Duke by nothing that they've shot 341 shots and 325 shots, respectively. Roy admitted he was "not good at math" before adding up those totals and coming up with the rather coincidental number of 666.

It didn't take long for one reporter -- WTVD reporter Mark Armstrong -- to make the connection. Then the silliness began:
Q: 666 shots? Is there symbolism there?

Williams: Yeah. If you like Highway 6, route No. 6. 666 shots and they make about 45, 46 percent of ‘em and about 36, 37 percent from 3, that usually means you win.

Q: You are playing the Devils.

(giggles)

Williams: That’s right.

(more giggles.)

Williams: What?

Q: You are playing the Devils. 666? Sign of the beast?

Williams: OK. (laughter) I thought you were talking about the craps table or something. I didn’t know where you were going with that. These press conferences do tend to deteriorate.

Q: So you never got into the Omen movies or the Exorcist?

Roy: No, when I see somebody throwing up on the air, I am not watching the dadgum movie, I can tell you that. Give me John Wayne or Clint Eastwood and something to laugh in. I’m 60-years-old. I don’t want to be scared by a dadgum movie.

It's hard to argue with Williams' thoughts on scary movies. I agree entirely. I hate horror movies. When I was a freshman in high school, I made my friends turn off "The Exorcist" because I was too scared. Didn't care if they thought I was a wuss. Didn't care if my all-important high school social status would be damaged by the admission. I was freaked out, man. No thanks.

Either way, that last bit might be the most Roy Williamsiest quote of all time. Endearing cluelessness? Check. John Wayne name-drop? Check. Multiple uses of the word "dadgum"? Check and check.

"These press conferences do tend to deteriorate."

You can say that again.

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