INDIANAPOLIS — Kentucky guard Andrew Harrison apologized Sunday for directing an obscenity and a racial slur at Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky during a postgame news conference at the Final Four.
Harrison muttered his comments into a live microphone when another player was asked a question about Kaminsky after Kentucky lost 71-64 to the Badgers Saturday. The loss ruined the Wildcats’ undefeated season; they finished 38-1.
Harrison’s comment came as a reporter asked Kentucky’s Karl-Anthony Towns about defending the 7-foot Kaminsky. He muttered the slur with his hand in front of his mouth, but the mic picked up the comments.
Harrison, who is black, didn’t explain why he made the comments about Kaminsky, who is white. But he said in a series of tweets his comments were a “poor choice of words used in jest towards a player I respect and know.”
“When I realized how this could be perceived I immediately called big frank to apologize and let him know I didn’t mean any disrespect,” he added.
He said the two of them had a “good conversation” and he wished him good luck in Monday’s title game.
Kaminsky confirmed Sunday that Harrison reached out to him, and then the All-America forward quickly dismissed the topic.
“Nothing needs to be made out of it,” Kaminsky said.
WISCONSIN/KENTUCKY POSTS BEST MARK IN 19 YEARS: Wisconsin’s win over previously undefeated Kentucky drew the most viewers for an NCAA semifinal in 19 years.
The Badgers’ 71-64 victory Saturday night averaged 22.6 million viewers across TBS, TNT and truTV, Turner Sports and CBS said. That’s up 39 percent from last season’s matchup of the same teams.
It was the largest audience for a semi since the Wildcats beat UMass in 1996.
The two games Saturday averaged 18.9 million viewers, also the best since 1996 and up 35 percent from a year ago. Duke’s 81-61 win over Michigan State averaged 15.3 million, the highest for the early game since Illinois-Louisville in 2005 and a 31 percent increase from last season’s UConn-Florida matchup.
CALIPARI, NOT RYAN, TO ENTER HALL: Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan will not join the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Monday, ESPN reported Sunday.
The network reported that Kentucky coach John Calipari, whose Wildcats lost to Wisconsin on Saturday in the Final Four, will be part of the 2015 class.
The class will be announced Monday morning.