Duke men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski’s last hurrah in Boston followed a familiar script.
Coach K’s final ACC tour thundered onward with a 72-61 victory over Boston College on Saturday evening at Conte Forum. The No. 7 Blue Devils improved 21-4 and 11-3 while the Eagles dropped to 9-14 and 4-9.
Krzyzewski will retire at the end of the campaign after serving 42 seasons as the Blue Devils’ patriarch. a reign that included five national championships and 15 ACC tournament titles. BC has had seven head coaches since Krzyzewski arrived in Durham, N.C. in March 1980. BC coach Earl Grant is in his first year.
The winningest Division I coach in history, Krzyzewski has 1,191 victories in 47 seasons, 1,118 at Duke and 24 against BC. Krzyzewski was honored in a pregame ceremony with a large contingent of Duke fans in attendance.
“I didn’t stay this year to have a farewell tour, I stayed to coach one more year,” said Krzyzewski. “When a school takes some timeout and says we recognize you have been pretty good for the ACC and for basketball that means a lot.
“We had a capacity crowd and I have the ultimate respect for Boston College. Some of the really great games once they joined our conference were with Boston College. I remember of a lot of the great players and the great games we played here.”
Duke shot 46.4% from the floor with seven 3-pointers, 41 rebounds and eight assists. Duke had five players in double figures led by Paolo Banchero, who finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds.
BC shot 40.3% from the floor with another dismal game from behind the arc. BC was 1-12 from downtown but made up for it with 34 points in the paint. James Karnik led BC with 21 points and nine boards while DeMarr Langford netted 16 with fibe rebounds.
“They are more of a paint team but they will shoot the three and they may get five of six in a ballgame,” said Krzyzewski. “We had to take care of the paint and in the first 15 minutes, we were giving up the paint.”
The game was officiated by two referees, Jamie Luckie and Mark Schnur, when ACC veteran whistleblower Jerry Heater withdrew at the 11th hour due to a non-COVID illness.
BC opened a 6-2 lead, but the Blue Devils retaliated with a 10-2 run to go up 13-10 into the first media timeout. Duke forward Theo John gave Duke its first lead at 8-6 with a nifty jump hook in the paint with 14:14 on the board.
The Eagles kept contact with Karnik scoring six in a 10-7 spurt that cut Duke’s lead to 22-18 into the third media timeout. Karnik cut the lead to a pair on a baseline jump hook with 6:42 to play.
Langford Jr. made a layup in traffic to make it 26-24 with 3:14 to play. The Devils regrouped and outscored BC 11-4 over the final 2:31 to take a 37-28 lead at the intermission.
“They come to play, they are very athletic and they keep it simple,” said Krzyzewski. “They are going to play you every minute and that is what they did.”
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