With the end of 2017 quickly approaching, The Chronicle's sports department takes a look back at the biggest sports stories of the year. Each day, The Blue Zone will review a major game, event or storyline that helped shape the course of the year in Blue Devil athletics.
Coming in at No. 2 on the list: Coach K’s 1,000th win at Duke
Mike Krzyzewski has been on Duke’s sidelines for 38 years.
When he took the court at Cameron Indoor Stadium Nov. 11 against Utah Valley, he walked onto the court and gave his typical handshakes and fistbumps and got his team ready to go.
But that night, something was different.
After coaching the Blue Devils since 1980, Krzyzewski had a chance to earn win No. 1,000 at Duke. A day after nearly beating then-No. 5 Kentucky, the Wolverines made it interesting, leading early and staying competitive through the under-12 timeout.
A couple hours later, Krzyzewski was all smiles.
“If you’re looking at me during the game, please don’t look at me,” Krzyzewski said in the postgame ceremony. “Look at these guys. Actually, during the first eight minutes, it would’ve been better looking at me.”
From the under-12 timeout until the 7:57 mark, Duke went on a 18-3 run, grabbing a 31-20 lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
Marvin Bagley III taillied 24 points, while Gary Trent Jr., Wendell Carter Jr., Trevon Duval and Grayson Allen scored in double figures in Duke’s 99-69 win. Krzyzewski made college hoops history as the first men's head coach to win 1,000 games at a single school.
“I don’t know, I don’t know,” former player and NCAA champion Shane Battier said in the postgame ceremony. “If you keep this up, you might make a name for yourself one day.”
With five national titles and three gold medals, Krzyzewski is no stranger to milestones. On Nov. 15, 2011, Duke beat Michigan State 74-69 to secure win No. 903 in Madison Square Garden. He passed his former coach Bob Knight with the win, claiming the title of winningest coach in Division I men’s basketball history.
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Krzyzewski would return to Madison Square Garden Jan. 25, 2015 for career win No. 1,000—he picked up 73 wins as the head coach at Army from 1975-80. Duke defeated St. John's 77-68, erasing a second-half deficit with a late 13-1 run to top the Red Storm. He would finish that year with a 68-63 win over Wisconsin for his fifth national title.
With win No. 1,000 at Duke in Cameron Indoor Stadium, he got to celebrate a milestone with the Crazies. With the starters on the bench and the clock winding down, the Crazies waved signs and a banner with “1K” in the shape of a “K” that spanned the student section.
After the game, President Vincent Price and Shane Battier introduced Krzyzewski and presented him with a game ball as the team wore “1K” t-shirts.
“I love Duke,” Krzyzewski said in his speech. “I love Duke more than any of you, because I’m older than most of you and it accumulates. I’ve been very proud to be the Duke coach.... It’s been great to be on the ride of how our university has grown into really the best global school in the world.”
“It’s an amazing thing when you have great moments individually, but when you can share great moments, it’s the best, and I’ve had 1,000 moments to share with all of you.”
As for what’s next for Mike Krzyzewski, Shane Battier had a prediction.
“And here’s to the next 1,000 at Duke.”
Check in tomorrow to see what story comes in at No. 1 on our list.
READ MORE about Coach K and his milestones:
A look at the rest of our top 10 countdown to date: