Last night the Duke Blue Devils took Cinderella’s slipper and beat her over the head with it. Hometown underdogs Butler came up just short of earning their first national championship since the tournament format was created, eventually losing 61-59 in a game that never saw a margin greater than 6 points.
In his eight championship appearance the narcoleptic Coach K cemented his legacy as one of the greatest coaches of all time. On top of leading team USA to a gold medal Krzyzewski has now won his fourth national championship at Duke in a career spanning three decades. Coach K is adored in Durham and with good reason, here are some fun facts about the future hall of fame coach courtesy of ESPN:
- His four national championships tie him for second with Rupp. Only Wooden won more national titles, winning 10 at UCLA from 1964-75.
- His 11 Final Four appearances are tied with Smith for second-most among coaches. Wooden guided UCLA teams to 12 Final Fours
- He has coached in 19 Final Four games, tied with Smith for second-most, and his 12 Final Four wins are second only to Wooden’s 21 victories.
- He holds the NCAA tournament record for winning percentage (.778, 77-22) and is first in tourney history with 77 victories and 99 games coached.
- He is the first coach to win national championships in three consecutive decades (1991, ’92, ’01 and ’10).
- Under his guidance, Duke has played more games ranked as the No. 1 team (190) than it has as an unranked team (144).
- At some point in the next two seasons, Krzyzewski will probably surpass Knight as major college basketball’s winningest coach. His 868 career victories are 34 behind Knight, his coach at the United States Military Academy from 1966 to ’69.
Congrats to Duke and Coach K on another championship and huge kudos to the Butler Bulldogs and their 14-year-old coach for keeping things interesting!