Buzz Williams doesn’t want to divulge his strategy. That’s all well and good. Third-seeded Marquette won a thrilling game against No. 6 Butler late Saturday night, advancing to its third straight Sweet 16 to play either Illinois or Miami at Verizon Center. Williams doesn’t want the Illini or Hurricanes figuring out how he operates, especially in late-game scenarios. Totally understood.
But he sparked some substantial — ahem — buzz Saturday night during his postgame press conference, particularly surrounding this exchange after a question from New York Daily News writer Roger Rubin. Here’s what went down, courtesy of the transcription service ASAP Sports:
RUBIN: Buzz, Coach Stevens said that with two seconds left when the turnover happens and they get the ball back and have a chance to, you know, tie it or win it, you made an adjustment in your defense that might have confused his guys. Can you describe what the change was and what were you trying to do when you made it?
WILLIAMS: I like you a lot, but the answer to the question is no.
RUBIN: You didn’t move Gardner to the ball?
WILLIAMS: That wasn’t your question, Roger. Your question was, could I explain to you what we did and the answer is no. We’re getting the same test we’ve gotten the last two years and want to pass it this year. I’m not being a jerk. No, I’m not going to tell you.
At this point, the tournament moderator interjected, soliciting other questions for Williams. Not a bad move. Except Williams came back. He even drops a Twitter-verse reference.
WILLIAMS: This is what I think, Roger: What happens is, there’s a very fragile line in your life and your industry. As your industry has changed, people have lot of theirs jobs, their livelihoods. Families have changed, the Internet, Twitter, guys that take have no journalistic experience that have none of the skill that you guys have that portray themselves as if they’re Roger, as if they’re Pat [Forde of Yahoo!], and they’re garbage, but yet in Twitter-verse they get the same swag that you guys get.
Here is my point: There’s a fragile line in our industry, too, and that fragile line is how hard it is to get a job, how hard it is to get a good job and of the small collection of good jobs, how hard it is to have a good job and make it a great job. The hardest thing in life to get is momentum and the hardest thing in life to keep is momentum.
And so I don’t want to play in the NCAA tournament anymore, and as humble as I can say it, I want to see if we can win another game in the NCAA tournament, and so the reason why my question — my answer to your question is no, because the next game we play is going to be a one-possession game, I hope, just like the last two I’ve played.
If you look at our box scores over the last eight games, six of them have been decided by one possession or less and we’re 6-2. So, I’m not a genius. I don’t want to be a genius. I don’t want to be Mr. Tactician. I don’t want our program known in that regard. I want — I don’t want to be tactical, I want to be tough. But in our toughness, that’s what’s missed. Within that toughness, there’s a discipline that is required to have that toughness. We do some things but it’s never said, and I’m okay with that. But I don’t want to tell you that because I want to pass the Sweet 16 test — are we playing Thursday?
MODERATOR: I’d have to check.
WILLIAMS: How about the NCAA has got — what time is it? We got to fly out of here. All money that’s being generated, we can’t go back over to the hotel and lay down and order a hamburger.
MODERATOR: I have nothing to do with it.
WILLIAMS: I was asking you what time we played. You didn’t know that either. I thought I would pile it on. Sorry, Roger.
A Google Maps search for “Hamburgers near Rupp Arena” turned up nine references within a one-mile radius. Williams should have said something up front. His Golden Eagles could have been chowing down on quarter-pounders by the time his presser ended.
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