The College Basketball Closer is written by the gang at Storming the Floor.
Like a lot of people (none of them UNC fans), I feel kind of ambivalent about Coach K getting his 800th victory with the close win over North Carolina State this weekend. In reality, the only thing I can really accuse him of is being smug and humorless (unless you find that "leader who just happens to be a coach" line as hilarious as I do), and extremely damned efficient.
Krzyzewski's story is tough to beat. He's a first-generation American, son of Polish immigrants, born in Chicago. If that guy goes on to coach, say, Oregon, and wins his 800th there, we probably throw him a party and film soft-focus documentaries about the American Dream. But instead, after picking up his first 73 wins at Army, Coach K. burrowed into the soft, warm underbelly of Duke University, in the heart of ACC country where the folks really know how to hate. And he won enough important games outside of Tobacco Road to make many of the rest of us a mite irritated with him and his peevish collection of blue-blood players as well.
But honestly, that's about all we can say about him. He built a machine, and operated it efficiently. At his current rate of 30 wins per season, he should pass his mentor, Bobby Knight (902 wins), sometime in the next four years. Only 61 years old, Krzyzewski could easily set the new mark for coaching excellence at 1,000+ wins. He might not be our favorite coach, but it could be a lot worse. What if Eddie Sutton still had a shot at the top mark?
I'm still going to stop short of the congratulatory handshake, though.
- Tennessee 63-Kentucky 60. 3 point L @ TN > 40 point L @ Vandy. Still sucks.
- North Carolina 90-Boston College 80. 3 players in double figs > 1 with 46.
- Memphis 76-Southern Miss. 67. Here's a shocker. Memphis takes C-USA title.
- UCLA 68-Arizona 66. Close but no cigar. Story of the Wildcats' season thus far.
- Texas 80-Texas Tech 83. Hmm.. we might have to start taking this Knight guy seriously.
- Duke 87-NC State 86. A squeaker for Coach K's 800th victory.
- Kansas 88-K-State 74. So, does Beasley still want to "beat them in Africa?"
- Stanford 60-Washington State 53. Lopez brothers reject Cougars' advances.
- Indiana 74-Michigan State 103. Never underestimate the Spartans on Senior Night.
- Georgetown 70-Marquette 68. JT3 rallies the troops with Kenny Rogers lyrics?
- Notre Dame 98-DePaul 91. Irish assailed by Demons, Dana Jacobsen. Win anyway.
- Xavier 66-George Washington 56. Three Musketeers shared the scoring for 11th straight.
- Butler 65-Detroit 31. Bulldogs' Mike Green ended one assist away from a triple-double.
- Vanderbilt 73-Arkansas 78. This helps Razorbacks more than 'Bama loss hurt them.
- UConn 79-WVU 71. With Pitt and WVU at 9-7, Monday's Backyard Brawl means a lot.
- Purdue 68-Northwestern 43. Seems I was talking out of my ass, Big Ten not yet clinched.
- Louisville 68-Villanova 54. Cardinals are developing Seinfeldian "hand" in the Big East.
- Drake 73-Wichita State 63. Bulldogs unwilling to submit to Shockers.
- Gonzaga 88-St. Mary's 76. Samhan's injury may be limiting his effectiveness for SMC.
- Kent State 83-Bowling Green 89. Well, I'll be damned. Must be Sussman's birthday.
- BYU 76-Air Force 57. Apologies to Mich. St. BYU is now the team I have nothing to say about.
Tonight's Big Game
Pitt (21-8) at West Virginia (20-9). Both teams are now 9-7 in the Big East, and both are considered bubble teams. Some say Pitt is already in, so the onus is on the home team to make their case and simultaneously throw some doubt on a hated rival. To borrow one of the best blog names ever: We Must Ignite this Couch! (sad story, incidentally).