Louisville coach Rick Pitino said he used to think Chapel Hill was the classiest place in college basketball. That’s until he met a North Carolina fan on the way out, he said.
Pitino argued with the fan at halftime of North Carolina’s win over Louisville Wednesday night, because the fan got in his face and said something he didn’t like, the coach said. Pitino had to be restrained by his assistant coaches as he headed toward the team’s locker room.
Pitino said the fan wasn’t a student.
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“I take it from the students all the time, and expect it from students,” Pitino said. “But from an adult and then turns his back on me like he’s a coward?”
“And he is a coward.”
Pitino is in his 16th season as the head coach of Louisville.
When asked what the fan said to him, Pitino smiled.
“Not something kind about me,” he said. “It’s all right.”
As a result, the fan was later ejected, a UNC official said.
UNC coach Roy Williams said he learned about the incident after the game, and apologized to Pitino.
“I don’t like that,” Williams said. “I mean we’re in North Carolina. We don’t have to be like everybody else. We can raise Cain. You can boo, but you don’t have to say the stuff that we as coaches have to put up with.”
“I hope that never happens at North Carolina ever again,” he added.
The No. 8 Tar Heels (24-5, 12-3 ACC) later beat the No. 7 Cardinals (22-6, 10-5) 74-63. The Tar Heels have a two-game lead in the ACC.