Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up
View All Scores

Roy Williams unwittingly links Duke with the Devil


Roy Williams is either oblivious or brilliant. Or both.

North Carolina’s coach was answering the usual spate of questions during Tuesday’s press conference, but this batch all related to Wednesday’s showdown with No. 5 Duke.

He talked about the Heels’ five-game win streak, the play of new point guard Kendall Marshall and the prolific scoring and shooting of Duke’s Kyle Singler and Nolan Smith.

And that’s where it took a turn for the sublime. Or silly, depending on your point of view. From the end of the press conference:

Roy: They’ve taken 341 shots and 325 shots between them and this is not a negative. That may be more shots that our entire team. That may be more shots than our whole team has taken this whole year. I’m not good at math … that’s 666 shots. That may be more than John Henson and Tyler Zeller and sure Kendall Marshall and Harrison, have all taken in their entire career.

Q: 666 shots? Is there symbolism there?

Roy: 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.


Roy: That’s right.

(more giggles.)

Roy: What?

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

Roy: 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.

Didn’t Abbott and Costello do that routine?

(You can watch the whole thing here, but skip to the final three minutes.)

Give credit to WTVD reporter Mark Armstrong for jumping on the 666 reference and elevating what could have been an innocuous comment into one that slyly gave the Devils the Number of the Beast.

Only during Rivalry Week.

(Thanks, @TarHeelWire)

Want more? I’m also on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.