Duke once again survived an opponent capable of trading baskets for 39 minutes to continue Mike Krzyzewski's last dance. The Blue Devils took Texas Tech's best shot late Thursday night and escaped thanks to otherworldly play from Jeremy Roach, Mark Williams, and Paolo Banchero. It was a reminder that Coach K is the most decorated college coach to ever scribble on a whiteboard in large part because he's had copious amounts of NBA talent breeze through town. Of his current group, Banchero's ceiling is the highest as some believe he could be the top pick in the upcoming draft, if not not second or third.
Krzyzewski, who has been more open with his feelings than usual during his swansong, got emotional talking about the grit and guile shown by Banchero and others when it mattered most. It was enough to make a person cry or, if they hate Duke, enough to make them dry heave.
A lot has been made about which coach will pick up the mantle left behind by Coach K. It's fair to conclude there will be no successor and the era of the larger-than-life floor general is on its last legs. It's also fair to conclude that when the Duke legend rides off into the sunset, there will be precious few of his coaching brethren using the phrase "holy mackerel."
And it's a good phrase. We should savor it. You don't know what you've got until it's gone. That's what Joni Mitchell and then later Counting Crows said.