Home Sports Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski goes out with a whimper

Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski goes out with a whimper


Mike Krzyzewski (r., looking nefarious)

Mike Krzyzewski (r., looking nefarious)
Photo: Getty Images

Mike Krzyzewski coached his final game at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday night, and North Carolina spoiled the party, knocking off fourth-ranked Duke, 94-81, and disappointing everyone from Jerry Seinfeld to Terrell Owens, who took the weird step of publicly admitting to rooting for Duke.

And on this occasion to celebrate all of his achievements, including the Blue Devils’ regular season conference championship, his 13th time topping the ACC, Krzyzewski stepped up to the microphone in front of his adoring fans after the game, and said, “I’m sorry about this afternoon. That – no, please, no – please, everyone be quiet. Let me just say, that’s unacceptable. Today was unacceptable.”

It’s kind of a dick move to use that moment to trash the effort of a bunch of college kids who just lost a rivalry game, but that’s the kind of high standard that Krzyzewski has set for Duke. That’s why Saturday night was the Blue Devils’ most lopsided loss to the Tar Heels since… a year ago today, a 91-73 thrashing in Chapel Hill.

Okay, but it was Duke’s first home loss to North Carolina since… a month before that, February 6, 2021.

Well, you can’t go by what happened last year, it was weird for everyone and especially for Duke, which before that had not lost at Cameron to UNC since all the way back in… 2019, when the Heels came to Durham and laid a 16-point beating on a then-No. 1 Blue Devils team.

Still, Duke losing at home to an unranked Carolina squad… also happened in 2013, and 1990, which is more often than you’d think it would happen given that UNC is almost always ranked.

If they don’t meet again, Krzyzewski will wind up 50-47 against North Carolina, including 23-19 against Roy Williams. Hubert Davis is now 1-1. But even though Williams was the coach that Krzyzewski faced the most in the Duke-Carolina rivalry, it’s Dean Smith with whom Coach K shares legend status. And now they’re tied together by what happened in their final regular season home games: a North Carolina win over Duke.


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