Roy Williams always wears his heart on his sleeve. I've seen him far more emotional before than he was following today's stunning loss to Clemson but I've never seen him more pained.
RELATED: Clemson clutches first-ever Chapel Hill win against Tar Heels in overtime game, 79-76
"I told Bubba (Cunningham) he should probably fire me and probably wouldn't be a bad idea. The coach is supposed to help his kids and I didn't help them very much."
It was abundantly clear that Roy felt he'd betrayed a sacred coaching bond with his team by forgetting to remind his team to foul rather than allow Clemson a shot to tie the game, which is exactly what Aamir Simms did late in regulation.
Roy stressed that he firmly believes in fouling in that situation and that furthermore, they practice fouling in that situation, but when the moment came Saturday, it didn't happen.
Brandon Robinson, who was largely brilliant, scoring a career-best 27 points, wanted some of the blame himself. He said he hadn't been a good enough leader in the final minutes, keeping his teammates calm. Instead, the turnovers happened. Then the non-foul.
"Me being here for four years I got a look at the clock and know that. And it hit me after he made the shot that we should've after we got the time out but it was too late then."
History followed as Clemson jumped out in OT and ended up squeaking out win #1 of the last 94 years of visits to Chapel Hill.
What it looks like to end 94 years of futility pic.twitter.com/u6ktCLZe4d— Mark Armstrong (@ArmstrongABC11) January 11, 2020
As for Roy, the night will likely be long and sleepless.
"I told them if I die tomorrow, 20 years from now this will be the biggest regret I have in 32 years as a coach, because these kids really need to win, and their coach let them down today."
As for those players, it's back to picking up the pieces. It may feel like the bottom has fallen out but there is still work to be done. I asked Brandon Robinson where they are mentally.
"It's crazy you asked that. After the game, I was devastated. I had my head down in my locker and Christian (Keeling) was the first person to come up and say something to me. He said pick your head up, you have to keep believing that we can turn this thing around. I think that is the main thing of believing that we can do something."