Grand opening, grand closing.
After five seasons as the head coach at Army, Mike Krzyzewski’s first season at Duke opened pretty well. A win over Stetson at Cameron Indoor Stadium was followed up by another victory over the South Florida Bulls in the first-ever game at their brand new “Sun Dome” on-campus arena.
But on December 5th, 1980, in his first game as part of the annual Big Four Tournament in Greensboro between Duke, North Carolina, North Carolina State, and Wake Forest, Mike Krzyzewski lost 78-76 to the Blue Devils ancient rival Tar Heels.
15,093 days later, the Tar Heels bookended the losses in his career via an 81-77 loss at the 2022 Final Four in New Orleans.
Yes, Coach K lost to the Tar Heels for the first defeat of his career as well as the last with the Blue Devils.
Krzyzewski ends his career with a 1202-368 record, not counting the games that were foisted on Pete Gaudet during the 1994-95 season due to what was termed a back issue for the head coach. Gaudet finished 4-15 in charge of his portion of the season, the only time we’ve seen an interruption of Coach K’s time on the bench with Duke.