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Krzyzewski & Calhoun: Recipe for a Classic

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Tomorrow’s game against No. 13 Connecticut will make history - it will be the first meeting between teams whose coaches have at least 800 wins. Head coach Mike Krzyzewski, after coaching since 1975, reached this benchmark on March 1, 2008, during a dramatic 87-86 victory over the N.C. State Wolfpack. Meanwhile, Connecticut head coach Jim Calhoun achieved this accomplishment earlier this year, when his Huskies defeated Marquette, 93-82.

However, this isn’t the first time these two have met. In fact, they faced off in college basketball’s arguably two most dramatic settings.

Krzyzewski and Calhoun squared their teams off against one another in the 1999 National Championship game, in which the Connecticut defeated the heavily favored Duke, 77-74.

These two coaches met again during March Madness in 2004, when Connecticut rallied from an eight point deficit to beat Duke 79-78 in the Final Four. They would go on to win their second national championship under the tutelage of Calhoun, each one involving a victory over Krzyzewski and his Blue Devils.

Duke looks to take revenge tomorrow by taking home a different tournament's hardware—the NIT Season Tip-Off's trophy.

All in all, the Blue Devils and the Huskies have played each other eight times. Each has won four. However, tomorrow’s game contains greater significance than a tiebreaker to the series, or as a possible late-March matchup. The game will be a battle between two ranked teams, two great traditions and, most importantly, two legendary coaches.


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