Saturday night, the Duke Blue Devils fell to the North Carolina Tar Heels in a classic Final Four showdown that also meant the end of Mike Krzyzewski’s storied coaching career. Coach K fell just short of ending his Hall-of-Fame career with one more national championship and going out with a loss to ACC rival UNC has to sting.
While the Tar Heels move on to face the Kansas Jayhawks in the title game, the Duke basketball world now officially ends an era as Krzyzewski leaves behind a legacy with five national titles, 13 Final Fours, 15 ACC tournament championships, and so much more.
However, the Coach K legacy also includes a lot of distaste for the ornery 75-year-old. Duke basketball under Krzyzewski reached New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys levels of hatred as many loved to watch the Blue Devils lose in the NCAA Tournament over the years. And this year, despite the fact that it was Coach K’s swansong, was no different.
While there were some calls in the media to root for him, the college basketball world-at-large remained largely in opposition to Coach K and reveled in seeing his career end at the hands of his bitter rival as one more championship danced off his fingertips.
— Nike Basketball (@nikebasketball) April 3, 2022
That’s why when Nike put up a tweet after the game asking people to share their favorite Coach K memory, they perhaps didn’t quite understand that, for many people, it was crushing defeats like this one that many fans will cherish most.
Several minutes ago
— Jason Kirk (@thejasonkirk) April 3, 2022
This right now
— Aaron (@BobbyBigWheel) April 3, 2022
— Sean W. (@big_sean_dub) April 3, 2022
The 1994 loss to Arkansas at the championship game in Charlotte
— Charm Offensive™️ (@fostokes) April 3, 2022
— Chef Automatic (@FrankNepa) April 3, 2022
A few moments ago pic.twitter.com/dHI8sspKr3
— The Basketball Classic Bracketologists (SickosCBB) (@SickosCBB) April 3, 2022
This was ill advised.
— Jim Weber (@JimMWeber) April 3, 2022
Good job, good effort.