A mental lapse. A breakdown in communication. An instance of absentmindedness.
However you want to phrase it, Roy Williams had a moment of forgetfulness. During a timeout with about 12 seconds remaining in regulation and the lead at 70-67, the North Carolina men's basketball head coach said he forgot to remind his players to foul to prevent a 3-point attempt from Clemson in Saturday's eventual 79-76 loss to the Tigers.
“That loss is my fault," Williams said. "No question, no doubt in my mind.”
The result of Williams' error was a successful 3-pointer from Clemson's Aamir Simms that tied the score at 70 with a little over three seconds remaining in regulation. The Tigers would go on to win in overtime, snapping UNC's 59-game home winning streak against Clemson and preventing Williams from passing Dean Smith for third place on the NCAA's Division I all-time wins list.
But years before Williams amassed hundreds of wins to even put himself in that conversation, when he was in just his first season as the head coach at Kansas, his Jayhawks conceded a late game-tying 3-pointer against Kansas State. The UNC head coach explained that since that game, he has always believed in fouling to prevent a shot from behind the arc in similar situations and he's always communicated that to his players for decades.