As Duke closes the Spartans, Coach K continues his last ride.

Duke was able to survive some tensions against Michigan State in the final minutes and extended Mike Krzyzewski’s final NCAA Tournament run. On Sunday, the Hall of Fame coaches' bittersweet final tussle saw Duke beat Tom Izzo's Spartans by 85-76.

As Duke closes the Spartans, Coach K continues his last ride.

Paolo Banchero, the star freshman, scored 19 points. He also made the drive through contact to get the go-ahead score with 2:05 remaining. This put the Blue Devils (30-6) ahead and gave Krzyzewski (1200th win). Coach K announced last summer that Duke would reach the Sweet 16 26 times under his guidance.

These coaching milestones were against his longtime friend, and frequent rival. Krzyzewski, 75, has won five NCAA titles and made a record 12 Final Four appearances. Izzo, 67 has also reached the Final Fours eight times.

Krzyzewski will push for a career-capping title when the second-seeded Blue Devils travel to San Francisco to face Notre Dame or Texas Tech next Wednesday in the West Region semifinals.

The Blue Devils shot 61% at halftime and 57% overall, and needed every bit to beat the seventh-seeded Spartans (23-13), in an intense fight that lasted until the last minute.


 

Michigan State led by five points with five minutes remaining, but Banchero made the crucial play that his coach needed. Jeremy Roach then followed up with a 3-pointer to give Michigan State a four point advantage.

"That was a great match, and they beat us back. Krzyzewski stated that he was proud of his team and that, for such a young group they displayed incredible courage.

Gabe Brown led Michigan State with 18 points, while Tyson Walker had all 13 points after the half.


 

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