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Duke Basketball: Where Would Duke Basketball Be Without Coach K?

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 15:  Head coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils talks with his team during a time out against the Michigan State Spartans during the 2011 State Farms Champions Classic at Madison Square Garden on November 15, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images
Doug BrodessCorrespondent IMay 4, 2012

Whether you are a Duke fan or not, it's hard to discount the Blue Devils' accomplishments over the last three decades:

  • Four NCAA Championships
  • Eleven Final Four Appearances
  • Thirteen ACC Tournament Championships
  • Over 800 total wins

That's success.

A huge amount of the credit goes to the one man whose name is synonymous with the program: Mike Krzyzewski.

Countless schools jump up and have a nice run of seasons, but then drop back into the pack.

Coach K has created a model program that has sustained an amazing level of excellence for a prolonged period of time.

He has made a significant impact not only on Duke basketball but on college basketball.

Let's play the "What if" game for a second.

What if Krzyzewski never came to Durham?

What if then-AD Tom Butters would have disregarded Bob Knight's advice in 1980?

The short answer is that most of the program's achievements mentioned above would not have happened.

In the 20 years BK (Before Krzyzewski), the Blue Devils only made it to the Dance six times.

Grant it, they did well when they got there:

  • 1962-63 NCAA Third Place
  • 1963-64 NCAA Runner Up
  • 1965-66 NCAA Third Place
  • 1977-78 NCAA Runner Up
  • 1978-79 NCAA Second Round
  • 1979-80 NCAA Elite Eight

But, in between these appearances, there was a steady diet of sub-.500 seasons.

Krzyzewski has consistently recruited well, developed talent and made great in-game decisions that has paved the way for the success that he has brought to Duke Basketball. 

In a day of short-term commitments and changing loyalties, I salute Michael William Krzyzewski.

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