Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski directs his team as Christian Laettner cheers during the 1991 NCAA championship game against Kansas. AP
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski directs his team as Christian Laettner cheers during the 1991 NCAA championship game against Kansas. AP

Duke

Coach K is about to hit 1,000 wins at Duke. Here are our picks for his 10 best wins.

By Steve Wiseman

swiseman@heraldsun.com

November 09, 2017 10:04 AM

UPDATED November 09, 2017 08:08 PM

DURHAM

Mike Krzyzewski enters his 38th season at Duke approaching another major coaching milestone – 1,000 wins with the Blue Devils.

Krzyzewski needs only two wins to get there, and could do it Saturday night if No.1-ranked Duke beats Elon on Friday and Utah Valley on Saturday.

The Duke coach is the all-time wins leader in Division I men’s college basketball at 1,071, and he became the first coach to reach 1,000 wins overall back in 2015.

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Because the NCAA forced Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim to vacate 101 wins due to violations, no other Division I men’s coach currently has 1,000 wins at one school.

We’ve picked our top 10 wins from Coach K’s Duke tenure, which began when Blue Devils athletic director Tom Butters hired him away from Army on March 18, 1980.

Duke 77, North Carolina 75, March 10, 1984

Greensboro Coliseum

North Carolina's Michael Jordan, left, shoots as Duke's Jay Bilas defends during the March 10, 1984 ACC tournament semifinal game in Greensboro.
DAVIE HINSHAW

In an ACC tournament semifinal that featured UNC’s Michael Jordan and Matt Doherty and Duke’s Jay Bilas and David Henderson, Henderson made four free throws late in the game to give Krzyzewski his first win over a top-ranked team and his first trip to the ACC tournament title game. More importantly, after UNC and N.C. State had won national titles the two previous seasons, the win showed Duke belonged on that level as well.

Duke 79, UNLV 77, March 30, 1991

Hoosier Dome, Indianapolis

Duke’s Christian Laettner, right, hugs Grant Hill after the Blue Devils beat UNLV 79-77 in the Final Four semifinals on March 30, 1991.
AP

Having lost 103-73 to UNLV in the 1990 NCAA tournament final, the Blue Devils knock off what some believed at the time to be the greatest team in college basketball history. The Rebels had won 45 consecutive games entering the Final Four before Krzyzewski led the Blue Devils to the upset win.

Duke 72, Kansas 65, April 1, 1991

Hoosier Dome, Indianapolis

Duke's Bobby Hurley, left, celebrates with teammate Christian Laettner after the Blue Devils beat Kansas 72-65 for the NCAA championship on April 1, 1991.
ED REINKE Associated Press

Two nights after ending UNLV’s hopes for an unbeaten season, Duke won its first national championship with a win over Roy Williams’ Kansas Jayhawks. Christian Laettner, the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, scored a game-high 18 points and was 12-for-12 from the foul line, as Krzyzewski claimed his 336th career victory and most important to date.

Duke 104, Kentucky 103 (OT), March 28, 1992

Spectrum, Philadelphia

Duke’s Christian Laettner shoots over Kentucky’s Deron Feldhaus with 2.1 seconds left in overtime. “The Shot” sent the Blue Devils to the Final Four as Duke beat the Wildcats 104-103.
Chuck Liddy cliddy@newsobserver.com

In perhaps the best college basketball game in history, Christian Laettner hits a buzzer-beating jumper on a pass from Grant Hill, giving the Blue Devils a win over the Wildcats in the NCAA tournament. The win kept Duke’s hopes alive for consecutive national championships and sentthe Blue Devils to their fifth straight Final Four appearance

Duke 71, Michigan 51, April 6, 1992

Metrodome, Minneapolis

Duke’s Antonio Lang, right, pressures Michigan’s Juwan Howard during the April 6, 1992, championship game.
AP

In front of a record crowd of 50,379, Krzyzewski’s Blue Devils routed Michigan’s famed Fab Five group of freshman in the NCAA tournament final. Duke joins UCLA as the only schools with two repeat national championships. The Blue Devils (34-2) become the first team since Indiana in 1976 to stay ranked No. 1 from the preseason through the postseason tournament.

Duke 82, Arizona 72, April 2, 2001

Metrodome, Minneapolis

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski hugs Shane Battier as Mike Dunleavy, and Carlos Boozer watch a video following the trophy presentation after the Blue Devils 82-72 NCAA championship win over Arizona in 2001.
Chuck Liddy cliddy@newsobserver.com

Mike Dunleavy Jr. scored 21 points, Shane Battier 18 and Jason Williams 16 as Krzyzewski becomes the fourth coach to win three NCAA titles. The Blue Devils become the second team since the NCAA tournament expanded to 64 teams to win every tournament game by at least 10 points. Duke sets NCAA records for wins in a four-year period (133) and all-time NCAA tournament winning percentage (76.8).

Duke 61, Butler 59, April 5, 2010

Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis

Duke’s Kyle Singler tries to take a shot over Butler’s Avery Jukes in the 2010 NCAA title game.
Ethan Hyman ehyman@newsobserver.com

Krzyzewski wins his fourth NCAA championship as Kyle Singler, the Final Four Most Outstanding Player, scores 19 points and grabs nine rebounds in the championship game. The four championships tie Krzyzewski with Kentucky’s Adolph Rupp for second-most all-time.

Duke 74, Michigan State 69, Nov. 15, 2011

Madison Square Garden, New York

Mike Krzyzewski, right, speaks with mentor and former NCAA Division I record holder Bobby Knight after Krzyzewski wins his 903rd game.
CHUCK LIDDY cliddy@newsobserver.com

With Bob Knight, Krzyzewski’s longtime mentor and previous NCAA coaching wins record holder calling the game for ESPN, Duke tops Michigan State in the first-ever Champions Classic, to give Krzyzewski an NCAA-record 903 career wins. Andre Dawkins makes six 3-point field goals in a 26-point effort, while Seth Curry adds 20 points, seven rebounds, four assists and four steals.

Duke 77, St. John’s 68, Jan. 25, 2015

Madison Square Garden, New York

Duke guard Matt Jones, left, guard Tyus Jones, middle, and guard Rasheed Sulaimon, right, parade around the court after Duke beat St. John’s 77-68 to give Coach K his 1,000th win.
Chuck Liddy cliddy@newsobserver.com

Krzyzewski becomes the first Division I men’s basketball coach to win 1,000 games as Duke rallies past St. John’s. Trailing midway through the second half, the Blue Devils went on an 18-2 run down the stretch. Tyus Jones scored 22 points, making all 10 of his free throws, while Quinn Cook and Jahlil Okafor each scored 17 points.

Duke 68, Wisconsin 63, April 6, 2015

Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis

Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski stands with, left to right, guard Grayson Allen, guard Quinn Cook and forward Justise Winslow after beating Wisconsin 68-63 for the 2015 NCAA national championship.
Chuck Liddy cliddy@newsobserver.com

Krzyzewski captures his fifth NCAA championship and third in Indianapolis. Freshman guard Tyus Jones is named Final Four Most Outstanding Player after scoring a game-high 23 points, shooting 7-of-13 from the floor and hitting all seven of his free-throw attempts. Krzyzewski’s fifth national title moved him past Adolph Rupp for second-most all-time, trailing only UCLA’s John Wooden (10).

Steve Wiseman: 919-419-6671, @stevewisemanNC