Roy Williams


We were down by one, with 40-something seconds left, I think it was. And Coach [Dean Smith] called a timeout … and the guys coming off the floor had the worst look on their faces I'd ever seen. And that's when I thought, 'Oh my gosh,' and that's when it hit me that we might even could lose this game; it's the first time it had ever crossed my mind. And then Coach Smith and we all kneeled down in front of the bench, and he says, "Hey, we're in great shape, we're exactly where we want to be -- because we're going to determine the outcome of this game."

So when he said that, I sneaked a peek over my shoulder at the scoreboard, and sure enough, we were down one. And he kept going, and he said, "We're going to run 'lineup' to get it in, but I don't think they're going to be pressing. Then let's run '2.' Look for the lob, I don't think it will be there, but Sam, keep going. And then if we don't have the lob let's penetrate, and go to the backside. And if the shot's there, take it. Sam, you get the weakside board, and James, you get the middle board and we'll get the rebound. But if we don't get the rebound, and they happen to get the rebound, we'll foul them, and there's no way they're going to make the free throw under this kind of pressure. So we're in great shape." And the look on all of our players' faces changed drastically. And as they were leaving the huddle, Coach tapped Michael on the back and said, "Michael, if you have a shot, knock it in."

And that's what happened. They didn't press, they did cover the lob, we had the board covered when Michael shot the ball. … It was one of those great, great moments.