Rick Pitino had to be restrained during heated exchange with ‘coward’ at UNC

The crowd at Chapel Hill was pumped up for Wednesday’s much-anticipated ACC showdown between No. 8 North Carolina and No. 7 Louisville – but one fan apparently was a little too amped.

As he walked to the locker room at halftime, Cardinals coach Rick Pitino got into a heated argument with a Tar Heels fan – a dispute that led to the fan’s ejection and Pitino having to be restrained by his coaching staff.

Pitino didn’t elaborate on what the fan yelled at him, though it certainly hit a nerve.

“I take it from the students all the time, and expect it from students,” Pitino told the Raleigh News and Observer. “But from an adult and then turns his back on me like he’s a coward?”

“And he is a coward.”

Tar Heels coach Roy Williams apologized to Pitino after the game.

“I don’t like that,” Williams told the newspaper. “I mean we’re in North Carolina. We don’t have to be like everybody else. We can raise Cain. You can boo, but you don’t have to say the stuff that we as coaches have to put up with.”

North Carolina came away with a 74-63 win that helped it creep closer to a regular-season ACC title.