PHOENIX — Just because Buzz Williams has promised not to do any more victory dances after inciting a near riot in Morgantown a few weeks ago doesn't mean the Marquette coach doesn't have an unusual celebration or two left in him.
He offered a sample during Wednesday's open practice at the NCAA tournament West Regional in Phoenix when he did a mock snow angel at mid-court after burying a half-court shot at the end of the workout.
Williams' irreverent antics aren't the only thing that sets him apart from his coaching peers at the West Regional.
On the one hand, there's Tom Izzo, Rick Pitino and Billy Donovan, all of whom have been to three or more Final Fours and captured at least one championship. On the other hand, there's Williams, who has been a head coach for only five seasons and has yet to make it past a Sweet 16.
"I wish that would have been a question on the SAT, I wouldn't have had to go to junior college," Williams quipped. "The word association on the SAT, I would have gotten that right.
"Coach Donovan has won 27 NCAA tournament games. Coach Izzo has won 37. Coach Pitino has won 40. All of them have won national championships. All of them have coached in the league or decided they didn't want to coach in the league. And the league that I should be in is the Lone Star Conference, a Division II league in Texas. I should be an assistant in that league. So I don't belong. I don't compare."
Williams may not have the pedigree of his coaching peers, but they all started somewhere too. With senior duo Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom and a talented, young supporting cast, Marquette has as good a chance as any team of advancing out of a wide-open West Regional and taking Williams to his first Final Four.
Who knows how Williams might celebrate if Marquette wins two games in Phoenix? A half-court shot merited a mock snow angel, so a Final Four berth would have to inspire something even more creative.
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