Memory of Ryan's father fills open seat at title game
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan will always take his late father's spirit to the Final Four.
On Monday night, Butch Ryan also got a symbolic front-row view of his son working in the national championship game.
In a gracious gesture, North Carolina coach Roy Williams donated his ticket - section 140, Row A, seat 13 - to the memory of Ryan's father, who died at age 89 in August 2013. The seat was empty in his honor.
Sometimes, Ryan still gets emotional when he talks about the loss of his father and the influence of his dad's own coaching career.
But after Wisconsin (36-4) blew a nine-point lead in the final 13 1/2 minutes of the title game, Ryan was more upset about losing the game 68-63 to Duke.