Thu May 19 10:51am EDT
During his weekly appearance on WTLX-FM in Madison, Richter tore into Williams for being unwilling to bring his North Carolina team to Madison. Wisconsin will visit Chapel Hill in November to face the Tar Heels in one of the marquee games of next season's Big Ten-ACC challenge.
"It still is a joke," Richter said. "I know darn well that you'll never get Roy Williams here. He won't come to Wisconsin. He's afraid the people are going to boo him and everything else. I think that's all bogus."
The animosity between Williams and Wisconsin stems from comments the North Carolina coach made months after Michigan State beat Wisconsin at the 2000 Final Four in a physical, low-scoring game that was 19-17 at halftime. After his Kansas team beat UCLA 99-98 in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic the following season, Williams made a joke that appeared to be a jab at former Wisconsin coach Dick Bennett's trademark deliberate style.
"Are you going to tell me you don't like this more than 19-17 at halftime?" Williams said "I'm not a nuclear physicist, but you make the choice. We're trying to make it a game of basketball skills, not a weight room contest."
The comments have not been forgotten at Wisconsin.
Boos rained down on Williams when he was introduced during the 2002 NCAA tournament when Kansas played at the Kohl Center. Members of Wisconsin's 2000 Final Four team also admitted they were still furious over Williams comments prior to a 2005 Elite Eight matchup between Wisconsin and eventual national champion North Carolina.
"These guys can get some revenge for us from the 2000 team," former Badger Andy Kowske told the Wisconsin State Journal at the time. "To be able to watch them go to the Final Four against a coach who at one time singled us out, it would be special."
Wisconsin and North Carolina have not faced each other in the first 12 seasons of the Big Ten-ACC challenge, so Richter believes it's no coincidence that the Badgers have drawn a visit to Chapel Hill in a year when the Tar Heels figure to be preseason No. 1. Of course, Wisconsin is expected to contend in the Big Ten, though the Badgers will have to replace frontcourt stalwarts Jon Leuer and Keaton Nankivil.
One reason why the game is in Chapel Hill is probably because North Carolina played at Illinois in last season's challenge while Wisconsin hosted North Carolina State, but Richter isn't buying that logic.
"There were many times when that should have been our matchup and now the matchup is there because who's supposed to be the top team in the country? North Carolina.," Richter said.
"We've got to go down there when they're supposed to have all these horses back, and it's going to be a tough road for us. Who's going to benefit but Roy Williams?"