Posted by on April 3, 2022 9:40 am
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‘I love my team’: Duke’s Coach K says goodbye to college basketball with loss to UNC

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski speaks during a news conference after Duke’s loss to North Carolina in a college basketball game during the semifinal round of the Men’s Final Four NCAA tournament, Saturday, April 2, 2022, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) David J. Phillip/AP

‘I love my team’: Duke’s Coach K says goodbye to college basketball with loss to UNC

Heather Hamilton April 03, 09:34 AMApril 03, 09:34 AM Press Conference: Duke vs. North Carolina Postgame – 2022 NCAA Tournament

The NCAA Final Four matchup between the North Carolina Tar Heels and Duke University proved to be coach Mike Krzyzewski’s final game, as UNC defeated the Blue Devils 81-77 in New Orleans.

“I won’t be in the arena anymore,” Krzyzewski said following the game. “But, damn, I was in the arena for a long time. And these kids made my last time in the arena an amazing one.”

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Saturday’s game was the first time the two teams have met in the NCAA Tournament.

“I love my team,” Krzyzewski, who is known as Coach K, said, noting how proud he was of his players. “They’re the youngest team we’ve ever had. I mean, they won 32 games, ACC regular season champs, and western regional champs. When it looked like we weren’t playing well anymore this season, they turned it around in March. Look, we had a chance to play Monday for a national championship, so I can’t be anything but proud of them.”

When asked what his 42-year coaching career at Duke meant to him, he smiled and said he would “find out.”

“I’m only thinking of my team. I’ll be fine. I want to make sure my team is good,” Krzyzewski said, acknowledging his players’ sadness while also congratulating UNC. “It was a heck of a game. The team that won was going to be so happy and the team that lost was going to be so sad because both teams played their hearts out.”


The UNC win evens the record with Duke at 50-50 during the Coach K era.

During the game’s pregame show, TBS aired a 10-minute tribute to Krzyzewski.

Following the game, Coach K’s players praised him for his dedication.

“Coach delivered on every promise he gave us and more,” Wendell Moore Jr., who was named the Basketball Hall of Fame’s Julius Erving Award winner as the nation’s best small forward before the game Saturday. “He does it with his heart. He does everything with his heart.”

“He was so committed to us all year, never made it about him,” forward Paolo Banchero said. “He had our back the whole year, had our back every game.”

The game was Coach K’s 13th trip to a Final Four game. Over the course of his career, Krzyzewski won a record 1,202 games and five NCAA titles.


The Tar Heels will play Kansas on Monday for the NCAA national title.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

Originally appeared at Washington Examiner

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