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Coach K’s final home game: UNC turns Mike Krzyzewski’s Cameron Indoor Stadium finale into its own celebration – CBS Sports

DURHAM, N.C. — This is what can happen when you try to plan a retirement ceremony with 9,000 of your closest friends, with the tricky caveat of including a basketball game. 

This was to be Mike Krzyzewski’s night. Duke staged one of the grandest send-offs college sports had ever seen. It was nostalgic. It was elaborate. It was quintessentially Duke. Which means a lot of people loved it and a lot of people hated it. Which means it was perfectly done. All of this created the biggest buildup, probably ever, to a regular-season college basketball game.

And then the greatest rivalry in American sports added to its legend with one of the more surprising upsets in its 102-year history. 

Unranked, bubble-team-supreme North Carolina 94, No. 4 Duke 81. A Saturday night stunner at Cameron Indoor Stadium. 

Krzyzewski’s home finale farewell was officially sabotaged by Hubert Davis’ upset-minded Tar Heels. Who were these guys, by the way? Not the same group that got pasted by 20 at home against Duke a month ago. That team scored 67 and was flat embarrassed. Saturday night’s squad averaged a terrific 1.25 points per possession and looked like a top-10 team in the country. North Carolina, an 11.5-point underdog, didn’t just beat Duke, it ran away with the game and ruined Krzyzewski’s valediction in appropriate fashion.

Seldom are the nights when these two undying nemeses come together and either team is overwhelmingly presumed to beat the other. Foolishly, most of us thought just that. 

UNC handed K and L and snatched a W so sweet, it immediately ranks near the top of the Tar Heels’ greatest regular-season wins in the 100-plus year history of this proud program.  

This is how you rivalry. 

“Hate to use the Navy term,” Krzyzewski, the West Point grad, said. “But keep a ship afloat. Our ship was going to sink today, no matter what.”

The postgame festivities at Cameron were to be a celebration of an unparalleled career. And they were, but that fête came with awkwardness. After the loss, Duke players walked out, sullen, and wound up sitting on the bench where UNC was just moments earlier. Krzyzewski reemerged with some understandable disappointment in his face. He held the hand of his beloved wife, Mickie, then leaned into a quick off-script commentary as he walked alone to the microphone staged at center court. 

“This isn’t part of the program,” he said. “This is impromptu by me. I’m sorry about this afternoon.” 

The place wanted to cheer despite the loss. Krzyzewski wasn’t having it.

“Everyone be quiet,” he said. “Let me just say, it’s unacceptable. Today was unacceptable, but the season has been very acceptable. And I’ll tell you, the season isn’t over.”

Then the cheers came. He wanted everyone to see that’s the guy who they needed to see in that moment. It’s who they saw most of the night, too, because North Carolina had Duke on its heels and Krzyzewski was vintage in his ire and fire. He rode the referees and looked nothing like a man ready to walk away from competition. This was Carolina, dammit. Afterward, he had nothing but compliments to pay to Davis’ players and program.

“Their program, like ours, is built on a lot of pride and they showed that today in coming here,” Krzyzewski said. 

With Dirk Nowitzki, Jerry Seinfeld, Adam Silver, Kyler Murray and many more luminaries in …….

Source: https://www.cbssports.com/college-basketball/news/coach-ks-final-home-game-unc-turns-mike-krzyzewskis-cameron-indoor-stadium-finale-into-its-own-celebration/

DURHAM, N.C. — This is what can happen when you try to plan a retirement ceremony with 9,000 of your closest friends, with the tricky caveat of including a basketball game. 

This was to be Mike Krzyzewski’s night. Duke staged one of the grandest send-offs college sports had ever seen. It was nostalgic. It was elaborate. It was quintessentially Duke. Which means a lot of people loved it and a lot of people hated it. Which means it was perfectly done. All of this created the biggest buildup, probably ever, to a regular-season college basketball game.

And then the greatest rivalry in American sports added…….

DURHAM, N.C. — This is what can happen when you try to plan a retirement ceremony with 9,000 of your closest friends, with the tricky caveat of including a basketball game. 

This was to be Mike Krzyzewski’s night. Duke staged one of the grandest send-offs college sports had ever seen. It was nostalgic. It was elaborate. It was quintessentially Duke. Which means a lot of people loved it and a lot of people hated it. Which means it was perfectly done. All of this created the biggest buildup, probably ever, to a regular-season college basketball game.

And then the greatest rivalry in American sports added…….

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