Duke’s coach Mike Krzyzewski’s first game was a loss to North Carolina. It only fits his last game would be just like his first one. The North Carolina Tar Heels advance to the NCAA championship game beating the Duke Blue Devils 81-77 in another instant classic.
An 8-seed, the Tar Heels are tied for the lowest-seeded team to reach the final since seeding began in 1979.
“Our belief all year was strong that we can get to this point,” junior center Armando Bacot said. “I don’t know if it was belief or if it was just us being delusional. I mean, at every point of the season, we knew if we came together as a team that we could get to the championship. And that’s what we did.”
The Tar Heels will play the only number 1 seed to make it to the Final Four this weekend in the Kansas Jayhawks.
After 1,202 wins, 13 Final Fours, and a career that redefined the bounds of coaching success in college basketball, Krzyzewski’s career. While this loss will sting Duke for a while, Krzyzewski built a powerhouse program like no other. While the Duke vs. North Carolina rivalry will carry on, it will seem odd next year without Coach K on the sidelines after 40 years.