Mike Krzyzewski passed Bob Knight, then spent some special time with his former coach. The man known simply as "Coach K" became Division I's winningest coach when No. 6 Duke defeated Michigan State 74-69 on Tuesday night in the State Farm Champions Classic.
The Blue Devils (3-0) gave Krzyzewski his 903rd win, breaking the tie with Knight, Krzyzewski's college coach at Army and his mentor throughout his professional career.
Junior guard Andre Dawkins had 26 points for Duke, which took control with a 20-1 run that gave the Blue Devils a 61-41 lead with 9:17 to play. Then it was just a matter of counting down the minutes until the celebration could get under way.
With Knight sitting across the court at the ESPN broadcast table, and with several former players in the stands — many able to attend because of the ongoing NBA lockout — Krzyzewski moved to the top of the list in front of a sellout crowd of 19,979 at Madison Square Garden.
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Krzyzewski went right across the court to Knight when the game ended. They were cheek to cheek in a hug. Krzyzewski, tears in his eyes, broke away and Knight pulled him back, hands on his shoulders, then one final slap of the shoulder.
"I just told Coach I love him," Krzyzewski said. "I wouldn't be in this position without him. It's a moment shared. I know he's very proud and I'm very proud to have been somebody who's worked under him and studied him and tried to be like him.
"The basketball gods are good ... they put two guys who've done a lot in the game together, special moments, and tonight is another one of those special moments," Krzyzewski said of Knight's presence at the historic game.
Dawkins, who had six three-pointers, and Ryan Kelly hits threes to start Duke's big run. As Michigan State (0-2) kept missing shots down low, Seth Curry hit another three for Duke and then the Blue Devils closed the run by making six of six attempts at the free-throw line.
The Spartans kept Krzyzewski coaching to the final minute. They finally started hitting shots and forcing turnovers to close to 74-69 with 12.9 seconds left.
Curry had 20 points while Kelly added 14 for the Blue Devils, who were 10-for-21 from three-point range.
"It's a special moment," Krzyzewski said of his family and former players being there. "At halftime I wasn't sure we were going to have this moment. We beat a really good team and I'm glad now we can just move on and just develop our team."
No. 3 Ohio St. 81, No. 7 Florida 74: William Buford scored 21 points and Ohio State weathered Florida's fast start to beat the seventh-ranked Gators in Columbus, Ohio.
Jared Sullinger added 16 points, Deshaun Thomas had 15 and Aaron Craft 13 points and seven assists for the Buckeyes (2-0), who forced 16 turnovers and hit 27 of 34 free throws to pull away in the second half.
Freshman Bradley Beal had 17 points, Kenny Boynton 15 and Patric Young and Erik Murphy 14 apiece for the Gators (1-1). Down as much as 16 points, they got as close as five with under a minute left before Buford sealed it with two foul shots.
It was Ohio State's 24th consecutive victory at home. The Buckeyes are now 69-2 against non-conference opponents in Columbus under Coach Thad Matta.
No. 18 Vanderbilt 80, Bucknell 68: Jeffery Taylor scored 14 points and led five players in double digits to help Vanderbilt beat visiting Bucknell with two starters out because of injuries.
The Commodores (2-1) bounced back after losing to Cleveland State to drop from No. 7. John Jenkins, the Southeastern Conference's leading scorer last season, tweaked his right ankle in the loss, while senior center Festus Ezeli is out with a sprained knee until at least December.
Coastal Carolina 71, LSU 63: Sam McLaurin grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds and Coastal Carolina turned a huge rebounding advantage into a victory over LSU in Conway, S.C. It was the third victory for the Chanticleers (3-0) in 11 tries against SEC teams, including a win last year over the Tigers in Baton Rouge.
Coastal Carolina dominated the boards primarily in the first half, during a 23-6 run from which the Tigers (2-1) never fully recovered. The Chanticleers finished the game with a 53-34 rebounding advantage.
Jordan Griffin, a senior out of St. Henry, scored eight points for Coastal Carolina. Christian County graduate Anthony Hickey had five points and four rebounds for the Tigers.
Elon 58, South Carolina 53: Lucas Troutman scored 14 points and Austin Hamilton added 12 as Elon held off South Carolina in Elon, N.C. The Phoenix never trailed in the second half as Elon upended the first power-conference team to visit Alumni Gym, its on-campus facility.
Charleston 72, Morehead St. 57: Charleston started with a 9-0 run and made 10 three-point baskets to beat Morehead State in an early-season game that was part of ESPN's College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon. Charleston (2-0) built its lead as large as 22 points in the first half, and Morehead State (0-2) was never able to recover. The game tipped off at 8 a.m.
"Our lack of physicality really hurt us again," Morehead State Coach Donnie Tyndall said. "I think we did a good job in the second half of making them miss some shots, but again we got outrebounded, so we have to find a way to get more physical and rebound the ball better. They would miss but we gave them too many second chances and too many open looks from outside."
Senior guard Terrance Hill led the Eagles with 13 points and six rebounds. Jordan Percell, a freshman from Campbellsville, had eight points and three rebounds.
Miami (Ohio) 72, Dayton 67 (OT): Julian Mavunga scored seven of his 17 points in overtime and Miami (Ohio) defeated visiting Dayton. Josh Sewell, a Louisville Trinity graduate, added 10 points and five rebounds for the RedHawks.
Shorthanded U of L women lose to defending champs
No. 6 Texas A&M 76, No. 9 Louisville 58: Cardinals Coach Jeff Walz didn't want to make excuses after his team's loss at Texas A&M. Still, he couldn't help but point out that missing three of his top players made facing the defending national champions difficult.
The Cardinals were playing without star point guard Shoni Schimmel, who was serving the second of a two-game suspension. They were led by Bria Smith's career-high 20 points.
Schimmel's suspension came after Louisville reported to the NCAA that she played in a non-sanctioned 3-on-3 summer tournament on her reservation in Oregon.
They were also without Tia Gibbs, who missed the game after injuring her shoulder against Missouri State on Sunday, and Monique Reid, who has back and foot injuries.
"When I scheduled the game, I expected to have those players on the court," Walz said. "It's a challenge to play a team like this when you don't have your two first-team All-Big East players."