Coach K makes history at Madison Square Garden
11/16/2011, 1:28 a.m.
It wasn't pretty, but Duke got the job done...and their coach made history.
While sixth-ranked Duke didn't shoot that well (44 percent) had more turnovers than assists (eight and seven respectively), they managed to put the clamps down on Michigan State in the second half defensively in a 74-69 victory at the State Farm Championship Classic at Madison Square Garden. Duke's record is now 3-0.
Despite the offensive performance, Duke got the job done, which is something that head coach Mike Krzyzewski has done his entire career. Tuesday night's win made him the winningest coast in college basketball history with 903 career victories surpassing Bobby Knight's total. He's current career record is now 903-284. He started his career 111-106.
But Krzyzewski isn't ready to sing his own praises.
"I've been getting too much attention this week," Krzyzewski said to reporters during the post-game conference. "And with the NBA not being here, there's even more. Maybe now they'll stop showing those specials on TV. I get tired of watching me on TV."
While coach played the modest role, Krzyzewski did take time to reflect on his career. And give speak on the importance of two particular people in the building that night. One was his brother, who Coach K said was the person he looked up to the most in his life.
"To have him here tonight was big," said Krzyzewski. "Especially with his bad back and two artificial knees from being a firefighter for 37 years."
The second person in attendance was Knight, the man Coach K yanked the college crown from. When they shared their post-game embrace and talk that was broadcast on ESPN, Knight - according to Krzyzewski - said "Boy, you've done pretty good for a kid who couldn't shoot."
After the post-game, Coach K headed to a room below the Garden court where he gave a speech to all of the former Duke players in attendance including Elton Brand, Shane Battier, Jay Williams, Chris Duhon, Grant Hill and Bobby Hurley. He thanked them, shared hugs and took pictures. It was mostly perfect night for the coach, but his counterpart on the other side wasn't as lucky.
Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo knew he wasn't in the best position on Tuesday night. He did congratulate Krzyzewski, but he understood that he'd be damned if he did and damned if he didn't. When asked about the possiblity of winning or losing this game he said "I was either gonna be the guy who threw the pitch to Hank Aaron or the guy that shot Bambi."
Tuesday night, Izzo became the pitcher and Duke fans and happy about that.