Buffalo coach Nate Oats caused a controversy Thursday night after his team’s upset win over Arizona in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament when he called Kentucky coach John Calipari a “whiner” for complaining about playing so many freshmen.
After Buffalo’s 95-75 loss to Kentucky in Saturday’s second round game at Taco Bell Arena, Oats said he went to Calipari before the game and apologized.
From the post-game press conference:
Q. After that dunk from Hami (Diallo) that put them up 20 you called a timeout, about 3 minutes left to go, and then you went back on the floor. Cal apologized to you. Was he apologizing because Hami posed in front of the band?
NATE OATS: I don’t know what he apologized for. He didn’t need to do that. They’re playing basketball. At first I thought he was telling me they were going to a zone. And then he apologized.
I’ll tell you this, I apologized to him before the game. I used the word “whining,” that’s a bad word choice of him talking about their youth all year. I don’t know why I chose that word. Big Blue Nation certainly let me know about it, don’t want to let them mad, they’re tweeting all day long.
I apologized to him. He said he didn’t take it the wrong way. I’ve got a ton of respect for him. Used to go to his program in Memphis, we ran the dribble drive at Romulus, basically because of what he did at Memphis. We had a good talk before the game. I don’t know what he felt bad about. He’s a good guy. I appreciated it, but he didn’t need to.
This from Calipari’s post-game press conference:
Q. Obviously the freshman thing gets played and played and played.
JOHN CALIPARI: And I whine. Coach and I talked about it before the game, Nate and I talked. There’s nothing there. He’s a great guy and a heck of a coach now. What he’s done and how that team plays and what they’ve done in their league, amazing. It’s amazing.