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?
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Lexington Herald-Leader
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.