"They've got a good team. I'm obviously confident in my Tar Heels. I'm obviously confident in my college coach (Roy Williams)," Williams said. "It'll be a good match-up. It'll be fun to watch."
Beating Foye's Villanova squad was just one great moment during that magical run for the Tar Heels. Williams' face lit up with an ear-to-ear grin while going back eight years to talk about that tournament.
"That was probably the most special time I've ever had playing basketball, just the run through the tournament, to see the excitement on campus, and throughout the team," Williams said. "Obviously, winning Coach Williams his first national championship, he had been to the Final Four a few times, but he couldn't quite finish it out. We got him his first one and that's really a special moment for all of us."
Part of Williams is bummed the Jazz will be in Texas the rest of the week.
He would have loved to have camped out at the arena for six NCAA games between the likes of Gonzaga, New Mexico, Pittsburgh and, of course, Belmont.
"Obviously, we're going to miss it, but it'll still be a good time for Salt Lake," Williams said. "I'd be here without a doubt. It's always fun to watch the tournament. You never know who's going to win, so it's always fun to have that element of surprise."
In all, eight Jazz players have teams in the Big Dance and three guys' squads are in the NIT. Four players have no rooting interests remaining in action, not even in the CBI or CIT.
You can bet Utah players will have their TVs tuned in at the hotel or locker room on Thursday and Friday, and hopefully later.
"That's going to be their Super Bowl, the first game," Foye said of his Wildcats' showdown with North Carolina. "I believe in them. I think they can do some pretty good things. I think we're going to come out being in the Sweet Sixteen."
Because Indianapolis isn't too far away, Hayward believes Butler will have good fan support in Lexington, Ky., where the Bulldogs take on Bucknell in the first round.
"I'll just have to watch them on TV. I'll be rooting for them. They've got a tough first-round match-up," Hayward said. "But some of the other games, if they were to win, they've got some other teams in their region that they've already beaten in the regular season.
"In that regard," he added, "I think it's kind of favorable for them."
P.S. Be careful when asking Mo Williams about his college. He razzed a reporter for asking about NIT-bound Alabama and the NCAAs.
"That might be a soft spot for him right now," Marvin Williams joked.
Mo Williams believes he has an inside track on the team pool, though. He smiled when that was brought up and added, "I plan on winning that, by the way."
Join the crowd.
Everybody in the tournament or with a filled-out bracket in hand is a winner the Monday before March Madness begins.
Gordon Hayward's Butler vs. Bucknell
Randy Foye's Villanova vs. North Carolina
Marvin Williams' North Carolina vs. Villanova
Alec Burks' Colorado vs. Illinois
DeMarre Carroll's Missouri vs. Colorado State
Jeremy Evans' Western Kentucky vs. Kansas
Jamaal Tinsley's Iowa State vs. Notre Dame
Earl Watson's UCLA vs. Minnesota
Paul Millsap's Louisiana Tech vs. Florida State
Mo Williams' Alabama vs. Northeastern
Enes Kanter's Kentucky vs. Robert Morris
NO POSTSEASON TEAMS
Al Jefferson, Prentiss HS
Derrick Favors, Georgia Tech
Travis Leslie, Georgia
Kevin Murphy, Tennessee Tech
- The 1996 NBA Draft redone: How did the Jazz...
- Mendenhall: BYU's 2015 schedule difficult...
- From dating advice to awkward returns: 10 of...
- ESPN highlights BYU basketball's roster...
- Morning links: BYU letting fans tailgate;...
- Doug Robinson: Weber State track coach isn't...
- J.J. O'Brien's basketball career comes full...
- BYU opponent preview: Mixing Riley's system...
- Dick Harmon: Big 12 expansion talk... 104
- Cougars say they have learned lessons... 70
- Ute football team picked to finish 5th... 52
- Utah makes top 7 for 4-star offensive... 50
- Morning links: BYU, Utah and Utah State... 41
- Morning links: Tom Hackett is the Utes'... 33
- 4-star basketball recruit Connor... 32
- Whittingham dishes on stadium... 27