Mike Krzyzewski got a hero's sendoff at his final game at Cameron Indoor Stadium, as you might expect from the winningest coach in college basketball history, but he did not get a happy ending.
Krzyzewski's Cameron career came to an end on Saturday against, who else, North Carolina. Among the people who were there to send him off, per Duke, were NBA commissioner Adam Silver, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Jerry Seinfeld, Dirk Nowitzki, Kyler Murray, Ken Jeong, Nick Nurse, Terrell Owens and the usual contingent of Cameron crazies.
Duke led the night off with an emotional tribute video:
— Duke Men’s Basketball (@DukeMBB) March 5, 2022
Krzyzewski then made his entrance through a tunnel of several of his former players:
A group photo would follow, then, finally, the game.
If fans wanted to see the festivities or just the beginning of the game, though, the ones watching from home were out of luck. ESPN had the rights to the game, but had to wait to put it on the air because the network's preceding game, Texas-Kansas, went to an ill-timed overtime.
Unfortunately for Krzyzewski, the Cameron Crazies and everyone else who shelled out big money for what Duke claimed was the most expensive ticket in basketball history, it was UNC's night. The Tar Heels rode a late second-half rally to a 94-81 win, with Armando Bacot, Caleb Love, Brady Manek and R.J. Davis all posting 20-point nights.
The whole performance was bad enough that Krzyzewski went out of his way to apologize to the crowd in a postgame address.
— ESPN (@espn) March 6, 2022
It was a big game for both teams, as the win means UNC will almost certainly reach the NCAA tournament after spending much of the last month on the bubble, while Duke could very well lose a No. 1 seed in March Madness.