NCAAB

ESPN analysts’ losses were Coach K’s gains on road to 1000 wins

ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz (l) interviews Mike Krzyzewski during the 2014 ACC Men's College Basketball Media Day. (Travis Bell/ESPN Images)
ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz (l) interviews Mike Krzyzewski during the 2014 ACC Men’s College Basketball Media Day. (Travis Bell/ESPN Images)

At some point in the next week or so, it is likely college basketball’s all-time winningest coach, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, will notch his historic 1,000th win.

That day could be as early as next Monday at Cameron Indoor Stadium against Pittsburgh (ESPN, 7 p.m. ET). But first ESPN2 will present tonight’s SportsCenter Special: Coach K-1K at 11 p.m. (or immediately following Duke’s home game against Miami on ESPN2), featuring former players and even his wife and daughters.

As the head coach at Army (1975-80) and the bench boss at Duke for the last 35 years, Coach K has won four NCAA Championships and made 11 Final Four appearances. He also counts no fewer than 21 of his current 997 wins against some current ESPN basketball analysts.

Front Row asked four of those coaches to take a stroll down memory lane, asking each which loss they wish they could take back against Coach K and which was their most memorable win against the Hall of Famer?

Jim Calhoun – 6-5 (2-2 at Northeastern; 4-3 at UConn)
“The time from 1986 when I first started at UConn to the early 1990’s was a tough stretch, and then in the 1989-90 season, we won the BIG EAST Championship and got the top seed in the East Region, advancing to the Elite Eight to face Duke at the Meadowlands. Christian Laettner’s overtime shot for the 79-78 win was heartbreaking for us; we thought we had a great chance to get to the Final Four and do something no UConn team had ever done before.

“There isn’t too much question on the highlight of my career against Duke and Coach K. The 1999 national championship game was pretty special for UConn and the state of Connecticut. It was our first Final Four, first national title and it was an all-around great game that came down to the final minutes.”

P.J. Carlesimo – 2-2 (1-1 at Wagner; 1-1 at Seton Hall)
“The game we lost in the Sweet 16 in Philadelphia in March 1992. That was the most disappointing by far, but the good news is that we only played each other four times. The next Duke game that year was the famous Grant Hill/Christian Laettner game with the full-court pass to send them to the 1992 Final Four.

“The most memorable was definitely the win in the NCAA semifinals in Seattle in 1989. We were fortunate that we played a great game, and unfortunately, they [Duke] had an injury during the game.”

Dino Gaudio – 2-3 (0-1 at Army; 2-2 at Wake Forest)
“The one I wish we could have won was in Cameron Indoor Stadium in February 2009. We came back from being down 22 twice, including a 43-21 deficit with 5:30 left in the first half. We brought the game within two twice in the second half (76-74 and 80-78), but just couldn’t pull ahead. I never won in Cameron and this was our best opportunity to do it.

“Our best win was when Duke was ranked No. 1 and we were No. 4 in January 2009. The game was tied with two seconds play and we had the ball under our basket. We ran an out-of-bounds play and scored at the buzzer, followed by a court storm from our fans!”

Seth Greenberg – 3-11 (at Virginia Tech)
“The one game I would like back is the Dec. 4, 2005, at Cameron Indoor Stadium. We played as well as we could play and were in position to win the game up one point. Duke had to go the length of the court, and the officials put time back on the clock to 1.6 seconds. They inbounded the ball to half court and Sean Dockery took one dribble and hit the shot to beat us. (Footnote: Who would have thought the Duke students would storm the court after beating Virginia Tech? As the Commissioner of Court Storming that was definitely an illegal court storm, they should have been fined!)

“The game I’m most proud of was the following year [2007], we returned to Cameron and once again competed hard for 40 minutes. Once again Duke hit a shot late to tie, and sent the game to OT. We made plays down the stretch and Deron Washington had a game-winning block in the overtime, and this was also the game he jumped over Duke’s Greg Paulus to score in transition.”

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