Penalty Shouts: UNC/Duke

This is Penalty Shouts, The Tartan’s sports column inspired by the The New Yorker’s column Daily Shouts. This satire-fueled column will focus on anything and everything funny in the sports world that is deserving of our comedic attention.

It’s been a crazy year in college basketball, and the University of North Carolina (UNC) showed us that there is at least one normal thing this season: an overtime loss on a putback with less than a second to go after UNC blows a lead in the last few minutes of regular time and gives up three points in two seconds on when Duke University starts those two seconds at the free throw line.

Just like clockwork, UNC loses to Duke everywhere in that exact same manner. This year when it happened, UNC coach Roy Williams said, “Coach K can win all he wants, but he will never, ever be able to dunk on me.” Coach K used his superpower to hear things from miles away (it’s what makes him such a good coach) to overhear Williams’ comment.

Seventy-two-year-old Coach K sprinted to the UNC locker room before anybody could say “Duke sucks” and challenged Roy Williams to a dunk contest. Appropriately, Roy Williams was confused. Then, he realized Coach K must have overheard his previous comment, so Williams accepted the challenge. At 69 (heh) years old, Williams was young and spry compared to Coach K’s insane 72 years. It was an assured win for Williams.

They walked out into an empty Dean Smith Center after the tragic loss of the Tar Heels to the Blue Devils in overtime (and all of the other qualifiers). The agreed-upon rules of the game established that whoever had the cooler dunk would win. They would go back and forth dunking until someone was a clear winner. The coaches shook hands at mid-court.

On Roy Williams’ first dunk, he threw himself an alley-oop. He bounced it off the rafters, through the top rows of seating, against the scoreboard, and off the side of the backboard, à la the Larry Bird and Michael Jordan commercial where they hit nothing but net, and Williams threw it down after jumping from the free throw line. For a 69 year old man, it was impressive. But not impressive enough.

Coach K lined up his dunk. He asked Roy Williams to stand in the key. Looking back on it, Williams said, “I probably should have asked why he wanted me to stand in the key.” Coach K lobbed the ball up. He ran forward from the three-point line and vaulted himself over the silken white hair of Roy Williams. For a second, Williams saw his life flash before his eyes. Then, it was over. Coach K dunked on Roy Williams.

According to a tweet from a UNC player after the game and the dunk, Roy Williams was in shambles: “Overheard in UNC locker room after game: ‘He got me,’ Roy Williams said of Coach K’s dunk over him. ‘That f***ing Coach K boomed me.’ Roy Williams added, ‘He’s so good,’ repeating it four times. Roy Williams then said he wanted to add Coach K to the list of players he works out with this summer.”