In what was supposed to be a celebration of Krzyzewski’s 42 years of coaching at Duke, his final home game ended in a 94-81 loss Saturday to rival North Carolina.
Indeed, this wasn’t the final chapter of Krzyzewski’s tenure at Duke. The Blue Devils won the ACC regular-season title for the first time since 2006 — a fact Krzyzewski noted as he pointed to the myriad banners hanging from the roof at Cameron — and the crowd routinely chanted its hopes for a sixth national title.
But for all the magic Krzyzewski has conjured in this building over the years, the final trick was a disappearing act by the Blue Devils’ defense. Duke led by as much as nine, but throughout a rollicking second half the unit wore down, looking listless during a stretch run that saw North Carolina score on 11 of its final 13 possessions.