NCAA basketball media reacts as Coach K establishes a new record for most Final Four appearances
Coach K’s last March Madness trip hit another record when Duke beat Arkansas to make Coach K’s 13th Final Four.
Mike Krzyzewski’s final NCAA Tournament appearance with Duke was historic. With a Sweet 16 victory over Texas Tech and a 78-69 victory over Arkansas tonight, he cemented his place in history.
The Blue Devils’ dominant victory means that they will reach their 13th Final Four under Krzyzewski, breaking a record with John Wooden for the most Final Four appearances by a coach in NCAA Tournament history.
The achievement is genuinely astounding, given that Wooden accumulated most of his visits during a dynasty at UCLA, while Krzyzewski has continued to reload his Duke team over the course of 36 years, leading to 13 Final Four appearances.
The college basketball media reacts to Coach K’s most recent achievement.
In the Final Four, Duke will face either
A) Saint Peter’s, setting up the greatest symbolic representation of David vs. Goliath in sports history, or
B) North Carolina for the first time in NCAAT history—with K’s retirement in the balance.
How is this our universe. Phenomenal.
— Matt Norlander (@MattNorlander) March 27, 2022
Coach K. Two more wins and it’s the ultimate storybook ending.
A national title to end his career.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) March 27, 2022
For the 13th time, Duke is headed to the Final Four under Coach K, breaking the tie he held with John Wooden for the most all-time. #MarchMadness
— Patrick Schmidt (@PatrickASchmidt) March 27, 2022
A Duke-UNC or Duke-Saint Peter’s Final Four game. Each incredible in its own way.
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) March 27, 2022
Weirdly, this is only Duke’s third Final Four appearance since *2005*.
But in their two previous FF appearances, they won the national title.
— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) March 27, 2022
Mike Krzyzewski of @DukeMBB is the first head coach to reach the Final Four in 5 different decades (1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s, 2020s).
— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) March 27, 2022
What can Duke expect in the Final Four?
In one way or another, the Blue Devils’ season will come to a close in New Orleans. The first clash will be in the Final Four against the East Region champion, which will put a lot of pressure on Duke regardless of the outcome.
In one possibility, Duke would face Saint Peter’s, resulting in a true David vs. Goliath moment for the Peacocks’ Cinderella story, and putting a lot of pressure on the Blue Devils to avoid falling short of the championship game.
The other would result in a third meeting with North Carolina, who spoiled Krzyzewski’s final home game with a win on March 5, as well as the first-ever NCAA Tournament meeting between college basketball’s two most vehement foes.
Duke’s players struggled to rise to the occasion in Coach K’s final home game and ACC Tournament game, so that storyline is worth keeping an eye on. It will be interesting to see if those experiences aid in a high-pressure Final Four game, but Krzyzewski’s return in his final year is absolutely extraordinary.