Speed Reads

farewell to the goat

UNC and Kansas advance to NCAA championship as Coach K ends storied career

The University of North Carolina Tar Heels defeated the Duke Blue Devils 81-77 on Saturday, NPR reports.

It was the 258th time the two teams had played each other, but the first time they'd ever faced off in the NCAA tournament.

Duke's loss also marked the end of the 47-year career of beloved Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, also known as "Coach K." Writing for The Week on Friday, Duke alum Neil J. Young argued that "when it comes to the issue of Coach K's legacy ... [t]he game's outcome doesn't matter."

"The numbers of his nearly half-century-long career, including 42 seasons at Duke, speak for themselves: 1,202 career victories (also the most ever by a college coach); five national championships; 15 Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament championships; 13 ACC regular-season titles; and 101 NCAA tournament wins — you guessed it, also a record. And those are just a short selection from a very long list of achievements and accolades that belong to Coach K. There's good reason he's known as the "GOAT," Young wrote.

In a press conference after the game, Krzyzewski congratulated UNC on their victory and said his own players were "crying on the court" as they realized this game would be his last, per NPR.

Also on Saturday, the Kansas Jayhawks beat the Villanova Wildcats 81-65 after outscoring them 40-29 in the first half.

The championship game between college basketball powerhouses Kansas and UNC will take place Monday night in New Orleans. Kansas previously won the NCAA championship in 1952, 1988, and 2008. UNC will be competing for its seventh championship win.