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Krzyzewski’s storied career comes to an end with Duke loss to UNC

The career of Duke University coach Mike Krzyzewski, college basketball’s all-time leader in wins, ended Saturday as his Blue Devils were eliminated in the national semifinals by bitter rival North Carolina.

The Tar Heels’ 81-77 victory advanced them to Monday night’s championship game in New Orleans against the Kansas Jayhawks, who beat Villanova in the other Final Four contest.

Krzyzewski and wife Mickie Krzyzewski held hands as they walked off the floor after the game that featured multiple lead changes down the stretch.

The now-retired Krzyzewski ended his career with 1,202 wins and 368 losses, nearly all at Duke.  

He coached five seasons at West Point, his alma mater, before being hired by Duke in the spring of 1980, where he’s been ever since.

The 75-year-old Krzyzewski, known as Coach K, announced in June that he was hanging up his whistle after 42 seasons.

Duke assistant coach Jon Scheyer, a former player who led the Blue Devils to the 2010 national title, has been tapped to take over. He was a two-time team captain and his 2,077-career points ranks 10th in school history.

Head coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils reacts in the first half of the game against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Final Four semifinal at Caesars Superdome on April 02, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana.Jamie Squire / Getty Images

This was Krzyzewski’s 13th appearance at the Final Four, and his five national championships — in 1991, 1992, 2001, 2010 and 2015 — is surpassed only by John Wooden, who won 10 at UCLA.

Krzyzewski’s win total is the most in major men’s college hoops, ahead of Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim, who is still active and has 998 triumphs.

In all divisions of the NCAA, Krzyzewski also tops Herb “Shot Doctor” Magee, who recently ended his half-century-long career at the school now known as Thomas Jefferson University, a Division II institution in Philadelphia, where he totaled 1,144 victories.

Other men’s college basketball coaches with at least 1,000 wins at any four-year campus include Harry Statham (1,122) at McKendree University; Danny Miles (1,040) from Oregon Tech; and Dave Holmquist (1,023), who is still active at Biola University.

Most of Statham and Holmquist’s wins and all of Miles’ victories were in competition of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), an affiliation that’s separate from the NCAA and made up of smaller liberal arts colleges that often have church affiliations.

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