CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — A North Carolina fan was ejected from the Dean E. Smith Center after a verbal exchange with Louisville coach Rick Pitino during Wednesday night’s 74-63 Tar Heels win.
Pitino was heading to the locker-room tunnel past the student section at halftime when he said an adult male “got in my face and said something I didn’t like.”
“I take it from the students all the time; you expect it from the students. But from an adult? And then to turn his back on me like he’s a coward?” Pitino said. “And he is a coward, but North Carolina is a classy place and he doesn’t speak for the rest of the people.”
ESPN’s Maria Taylor reported the fan in question yelled, “Pitino, you suck!”
Pitino then turned and had to be restrained by his coaching staff, partially ripping his jacket.
“I’ve always said this is the classiest place in college basketball, until I met a fan on the way out,” Pitino said. “It always reminded me of a class place, but they’re getting just like some of the other places now.”