The Duke Blue Devils are pursuing one last championship in coach Mike Krzyzewski‘s final season. College basketball insider Jon Rothstein believes the season is destined to end with one last NCAA championship for the Hall of Famer.
Many commentators, like Stephen A. Smith, have said they want to see Coach K end his final season with his sixth national title.
The possibility looks realistic as Duke (32-6) continues to advance towards an NCAA title. The Blue Devils, ranked ninth in the final poll of the regular season, face unranked North Carolina (28-9) on Saturday in a national semifinal.
Rothstein is buying into the notion that Krzyzewski and the Blue Devils will win one last national championship. In fact, he believes the moment was designed by a higher power or the basketball gods.
For one of the greatest coaches of all time, ending his career with one last NCAA championship would be fitting. Still, three other teams believe they will win the national title.
The North Carolina Tar Heels (six national titles), Kansas Jayhawks (three) and Villanova Wildcats (three) have all been on college basketball’s biggest stage before.
Coach K and Duke vs. North Carolina in a rivalry showdown
The rivalry between the Blue Devils and Tar Heels is one of the biggest rivalries in sports. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski has been at the center of it for decades.
While the rivalry will not be the same with the retirement of North Carolina’s Roy Williams last season and Krzyzewski this season, it’s still significant. The two programs are two of the most prominent in college basketball history, and the Final Four clash will be the most critical meeting in the rivalry.
The biggest game on the biggest of stages would be significant without Coach K’s presence, but his career being at stake adds to the significance of the moment.
While Jon Rothstein believes a higher power is designing Duke to get one step closer to a fairytale ending, UNC will look to end Coach K’s Hall of Fame career.
The teams have split the season series. Duke blasted North Carolina 87-67 on Feb. 5 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. But UNC spoiled Coach K’s home finale 94-81 on March 5.