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'I had a locker room full of guys crying,' Duke's Coach K's final historic NCAA Tournament game is one for the ages

“It’s not about me, especially right now. As a coach, I’m just concerned about these guys,” Coach K said.

NEW ORLEANS — “I had a locker room full of guys crying. It’s a sight I really respect, it makes me understand just how good this group was,” Duke Men's Basketball Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski said during the post-game against the UNC Tar Heels following the Final Four matchup in New Orleans. 

The Tar Heels beat Duke 81-77 marking an end of an era for Coach K as it’s his last NCAA Tournament after announcing his retirement before the 2021 season. The university named former Blue Devil All-American, and associate head coach Jon Scheyer as Krzyzewski’s successor for the 2022-23 season. 

"You're crying, either way, tears of joy or tears of agony," Coach K said while talking about how his team played their hearts out in a historic first game matchup in the NCAA Tournament. 

RELATED: 30 reasons why Duke's Coach K is so legendary

“He made me a better player and a better man,” Paolo Banchero said while talking about Coach K. He also said, his coach has lived up to everything he told him when he came to Duke.

"It’s always been my dream to play for Duke,” Trevor Keels said.   

“It’s not about me, especially right now. As a coach, I’m just concerned about these guys,” Coach K said.

“He was so committed to us, never made it about him,” Banchero said. 

“I’m proud of them. I love my team,” Coach K said. "They have an amazing future ahead of them."

Duke is 114-38 (.750) all-time in the NCAA Tournament, marking the best winning percentage in tournament history. Duke's 114 wins are also third-most in the event's history. Duke has been a No. 1 or No. 2 seed in 20 of its last 24 NCAA Tournament appearances since 1997. Duke earned its 44th all-time bid to the NCAA Tournament -- fifth-most in NCAA history and 36th under Coach K, the most appearances by a head coach right behind Jim Boeheim.

Coach K is retiring after a legendary career. He led Duke to five NCAA National Championships in 1991, 1992, 2001, 2010 and 2015. He coached Duke to the Final Four 13 times and is tied for most in NCAA Tournament history. He led Duke to win 12 ACC Regular-Season Championships and 15 ACC Tournament Championships and still holds the ACC record. He holds the record for the most wins of any college basketball coach. 

He Has coached 28 NBA Lottery picks – the most in Draft history – and a total of 67 NBA Draft selections, including 41 first-round picks. 

He's a two-time inductee into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, in 2001 for his individual coaching career and in 2010 as part of the collective induction of the Olympic Dream Team. He was also, inducted to the Army West Point Sports Hall of Fame in 2009, the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame in 2010 and the Duke Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011.

He has been devoted to Duke basketball for more than 40 years. 

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