NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski's remarkable career came to a thrilling and sudden close Saturday night after Caleb Love made a key 3-pointer and three late free throws to lift archrival, North Carolina, to a thrill-a-minute 81-77 victory over the Blue Devils.
This was the 258th, most consequential, and maybe, just maybe, the very best meeting between these teams, whose arenas are separated by a scant 11 miles down in Tobacco Road.
The Tar Heels (29-9), of all teams, pinned the 368th and final loss on the 75-year-old Coach K, exactly four weeks after they ruined the going-away party in his final home game at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
That loss hurt.
This one stopped the coach's last-gasp, storybook run one win away from a title game and a chance at his sixth championship. When it was over, after playing through the nip-and-tuck stretch run without a timeout, Krzyzewski walked calmly to halfcourt and shook the hand of Carolina's rookie coach, Hubert Davis.
On Monday, Carolina will play Kansas for the title.
The Jayhawks beat Villanova 81-65 earlier in the undercard.