The last two times Duke beat Butler, Mike Krzyzewski moved into a tie with one of college basketball's legendary names.
Last April, the Blue Devils' 61-59 victory in one of the best NCAA championship games ever gave Coach K four national titles, the same as Adolph Rupp managed at Kentucky.
On Saturday, No. 1 Duke beat Butler 82-70 in East Rutherford, N.J., Krzyzewski's 876th win in his 36th season, the same as "The Baron" had in 41 seasons with the Wildcats.
"I'm going to win more I think than Coach Rupp, God bless him, who won't win any more," Krzyzewski said of the late coach. "He won a lot of them and he won them in his way and they didn't play as many games then. Each era has outstanding achievements by individuals, whether they be players or coaches and in this era I've been fortunate to have some."
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The 18th straight win for Duke (8-0) was on the backs of the senior-freshman backcourt of Nolan Smith, who had 24 points, and Kyrie Irving, who had 17 of his 21 in the second half — including two big three-pointers that turned aside the last Bulldogs (4-3) charge.
Butler guard and Bryan Station graduate Shelvin Mack left with leg cramps with 13 minutes to play and did not return. Mack had 11 points, six rebounds and five assists.
This is the 16th time under Krzyzewski that Duke has started a season 8-0.
No. 3 Pittsburgh 87, Rider 68: Brad Wanamaker had 16 points and 11 assists, and host Pittsburgh (9-0) used its man-to-man defense and patient offense to slow down Rider's three-point shooters. The Panthers won their 53rd consecutive non-conference home game and their 102nd in 103 games.
Rider (5-4) was No. 7 nationally in three-point shooting (44.6 percent), only to go 7-for-21 (33 percent).
No. 6 Michigan State 74, Bowling Green 39: Fresh off a five-point loss at Duke, the host Spartans (6-2) turned the ball over 12 times in the first half before regrouping to beat the Falcons (1-7). "I might be the dumbest scheduler in America," Michigan State Coach Tom Izzo said. "My team is tired."
No. 8 Syracuse 65, N.C. State 59: Scoop Jardine scored 23 points, Rick Jackson added 16, and host Syracuse (8-0) shut down North Carolina State (4-3) late, holding the Wolfpack without a basket for the final 7:20.
Freshman C.J. Leslie, a one-time UK recruit, had 13 points and 11 rebounds off the bench for North Carolina State.
Vanderbilt 85, Belmont 76: Festus Ezeli scored a career-high 24 points and added 10 rebounds to lead host Vanderbilt (7-1) over cross-town rival Belmont (5-2). Vanderbilt attempted 45 free throws — the most in the Kevin Stallings era (2000-present) — and made 35 of them.
Arkansas 75, Troy 60: Delvon Johnson recorded a double-double with 20 points and 14 rebounds while adding four blocked shots for host Arkansas (5-1).
Purdue 66, Alabama 47: E'Twaun Moore scored 23 points and made 5 of 10 three-pointers to help host Purdue (7-1) beat Alabama (4-4). JaJuan Johnson added 17 points for the Boilermakers.
Tony Mitchell had 14 points, nine rebounds and three steals for Alabama.
Transylvania 65, Bluffton 57: Transylvania finished the game with 12-2 run to beat host Bluffton in a Heartland Conference matchup. Brandon Rash led Transy (3-2, 1-1) with 15 points to go with six rebounds and three assists.
The Beavers are 5-1, 1-1 in conference play. It is the third time this season that Transylvania has handed a team its first loss.
Morehead State 75, Murray State 65: Kenneth Faried scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead host Morehead State past Murray State in Ohio Valley Conference action.
It was the third consecutive victory for the Eagles (5-3, 2-0) after back-to-back losses on the road against No. 10 Florida on Nov. 21 and No. 3 Ohio State on Nov. 23.
Demonte Harper scored 22 points and had five assists for Morehead.
The Racers (4-4, 1-1) shot 50 percent from the floor and 15 of 16 from the free-throw line (93.8 percent). Isaiah Canaan led Murray State with 17 points.
Faried's double-double was his seventh of the season and the 63rd of his career — the most in the country among active players.
No. 14 Memphis State 77, Western Kentucky 61: DJ Stephens had 13 points and 11 rebounds as host Memphis overcame another sloppy performance.
Joe Jackson led the Tigers (7-0) with 15 points and six assists, but Memphis had 21 turnovers and the Hilltoppers got 28 offensive rebounds.
Sergio Kerusch got 16 points for Western Kentucky, which lost their fourth straight.
Western Kentucky (3-5) shot 31 percent, including 4 of 18 from outside the arc.
Eastern Kentucky 77, Tennessee Martin 69: Senior Josh Daniel scored 17 points, the most of 10 Colonels who scored field goals, as host Eastern evened its record at 4-4.
The Colonels have beaten the Skyhawks eight straight times in McBrayer Arena.
Early in the second half, senior Justin Stommes became the 30th Eastern player to reach 1,000 in career points when he made a jumper to stretch the Colonels lead to 42-24. Stommes finished with 15 points, three assists and three rebounds.
EKU dominated the first 20 minutes of action, holding UT Martin to 22 percent (4-of-18) shooting and building a 38-18 lead.
Union 83, Berea 77: Ian Davis came off the bench to hit nine of 11 shots for 18 points and added eight rebounds to lead visiting Union past Berea in the finals of the Roland Wierwille Classic.
After leading by only one at halftime, Union (5-6) opened a six-point lead early in the second half, but Berea closed to within one point, 55-54, with 10 minutes left. Then Union went on a 17-9 run to put the game away.
Darrin Dorsey led Berea (7-5) with 31 points.
Georgetown 80, Campbellsville 61: An 8-0 run to start the second half blew open a one-point game as visiting Georgetown rolled to its 10th straight win.
Senior point guard Eddie Gray hit three three-pointers in the second half and led the winners with 22 points. Maurice Pearson added 16.
Caleb Harris led Campbellsville with 19 points.
Northern Kentucky 87 Indianapolis 69: Chris Knight hit nine of 10 shots and scored 27 points as host Northern ran its record to 5-1.
Union 91, Tennessee Temple 77: Four Lady Bulldogs scored in double figures as Union (9-3) ripped visiting Tennessee Temple in the Lady Bulldog-Baymont Inn Classic.
Senior Wendi Messer led the way with 23 points.
Northern Kentucky 57, No. 11 Indianapolis 45: Casse Mogan scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead host Northern Kentucky University to an upset over No. 11 Indianapolis
Mogan also added five steals and three assists as NKU won its fifth straight, running its record to 6-2.
The losers shot 35.4 percent from the field, and only 25 percent in the second half after leading at halftime.
No. 12 Thomas More 65, Chatham 36: Sophomore guard Chelsea Tolliver tied her career high with 25 points as visiting Thomas More ran its record to 6-0.