The Chicago native son coached an Olympic Gold Medal team. Mike Krzyzewski has already has been inducted into the National Polish-American Sports Hall of Fame. Now he won his fourth NCAA title.
In one of the best television games of all time, Duke edged Butler, 61-59. Butler had won 25 straight before entering the NCAA men’s championship final in Indianapolis.
Duke finished the year at 35-5 and Butler ended at 33-5. Duke had been a number one seed coming out of their Regional.
Kyle Singler finished with 19 points and nine rebounds for the Blue Devils and was named Most Outstanding Player of the tournament.
Gordon Hayward, who was named to the all-tournament team, had two shots rim out that could have won Butler the national championship. It was an incredible finish.
Butler had the ball coming out of a timeout trailing 60-59, with 13 seconds left in the game. Hayward drove left, dribbled behind his back to the right and fired a baseline jumper that looked good but rimmed out. Duke’s Brian Zoubek grabbed the rebound and was fouled.
Zoubek made the first and missed the second, with Hayward rebounding. The 6-9 Hayward dribbled to half court and fired what would have been the greatest shot in college basketball history, but it hit the backboard and rimmed out.
“I thought Gordon’s shot had a chance,” said Butler coach Brad Stevens. “Anytime you have a player of Gordon’s caliber and he’s got the ball in his hands and he lets it fly on the last attempt, you feel like you have a chance to win.”
Coach K insisted that the NCAA drought hasn’t bothered him.
“It’s not about the moments that I’ve been in, it’s the moments that your players put you in right now,” Krzyzewski said. “I’m really happy for this group. … It’s as close a team as I’ve had. You want great things to happen for people who are great with us.”
Coach K made his first Final Four with Duke in 1986.
Longtime Duke assistanst coach, Steve Wojciechowski said, “When you come to Duke winning the title is our goal.”
Todd Zafirovski, a 6-8 freshman, (Lake Forest Academy) was a reserve center for Duke.
Krzyzewski has been a prominent figure on the International Basketball scene throughout his career. In July, 2009, he resumed his role as head coach of the USA Basketball Men’s Senior National Team program through 2012.
He was the gold medal winning coach for USA BASKETBALL in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
(Raymond Rolak is a Michigan based Sports Broadcaster)