WASHINGTON, D.C. -- North Carolina head coach Roy Williams pushed back hard on Thursday against the suggestion that unbalanced scheduling in the ACC gave his team the "easiest" strength of schedule in the conference.
North Carolina had just beaten Pittsburgh, 88-71, to advance to the semifinals of the ACC tournament.
"Coach, the unbalanced schedule this year," he was asked in his postgame press conference. "It benefited you guys having the easiest strength of schedule in the ACC this year. Do you think it benefited you at all getting the No. 1 seed going into this tournament?"
Williams then responded.
“Depends on how you evaluate that. You know what we didn’t have the benefit of, to make somebody say we didn’t have the easy schedule, we didn’t get to play North Carolina,” the coach said.
“All that is a bunch of horsesh--. In the ACC you get to play everybody, some of them two, some of them one. For the past couple years, I’ve always said the greatest thing would be to play everybody twice. But we don’t do that. I can get a Carolina fan to make that story up and it won’t be that we have the easiest schedule in the conference. All right?
“Would you agree that Louisville would probably make the tournament? We played at Louisville. Would you agree that Notre Dame is going to make the tournament? We played at Notre Dame. Would you agree that Virginia is going to make the tournament? We played at Virginia. Would you agreed that Duke is going to make the tournament? We played them twice.
“Northern Iowa is in the tournament already. Do you think Texas makes the tournament? Let a North Carolina guy make that philosophy up. Did I solve that one?
“Let’s go watch the other game, guys. Thank you very much.”
North Carolina ranks 26th in the country in overall strength of schedule and 55th in non-conference strength of schedule.
According to current projections, North Carolina is a No. 1 seed in ESPN.com’s bracket, but a No. 3 seed according to CBS’s Jerry Palm. Yahoo! has the Tar Heels as a No. 2 seed.
By beating Pittsburgh, North Carolina advances to play the winner of Notre Dame vs. Duke for a spot in the ACC championship game.