Mike Krzyzewski

End of Krzyzewski and Boeheim Rivalry, Duke Advances to ACC Semis

End of Krzyzewski and Boeheim rivalry, Duke advances to ACC semis originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

A final showdown between the two winningest coaches in college basketball came down to the wire.

Duke ousted Syracuse in the ACC Tournament quarterfinal by a score of 88-79 to end a legendary rivalry between Mike Krzyzewski and Jim Boeheim that lasted over 40 years.

In 18 head-to-head meetings, Krzyzewski and the Blue Devils came out victorious 13 times, including two blowout wins in this year’s regular season.

Krzyzewski, who has racked up the most college basketball wins with a whopping record of 1,197-366, said he and Boeheim (1099-426) are “best friends.”

“I don’t know if there’s anybody in coaching that could be better friends with another,” Krzyzewski said in the postgame press conference. “So it’s tough playing against them and we’re fortunate to win today.”

The Blue Devils were led by forward Wendell Moore Jr., who scored 26 points and had eight assists. Jeremy Roach grabbed 19 points, while Mark Williams added 15 points.

The Blue Devils started the game in control, creating an 11-point, 24-13 lead with 11:48 left in the first half. The Orange were not fazed as they played magnificent offense to create their own 40-36 lead into halftime. 

Duke's lack of defense, which was first apparent in its loss to UNC last week, continued to be a problem as Syracuse extended its margin to seven, leading 43-36 with 19:47 left in the game. 

Ultimately, it came down to the Blue Devils raising their intensity and tiring out the Orange. With just under three minutes left of play, the game was tied at 79 and Duke stole the show, nailing five straight shots to seal the win.

"Jimmy (Boeheim) definitely played a home day today," Moore said. "Obviously with Buddy (Boeheim) out, he was going to take more shots, be more aggressive out there ... and I think especially towards the end of the day, we really shut him out."

The Orange are typically led by brothers Jimmy and Buddy Boeheim, who are also the coach's sons. Buddy was suspended from Thursday’s matchup after punching a Florida State player in the stomach during their first-round victory the night before. The incident was deemed a “flagrant act” by the conference. 

“Buddy is the leading scorer in our league, so for them to not have him today… I think that was unfortunate,” Krzyzewski said. 

Despite not having his brother on the court, Jimmy stepped up at forward playing the complete 40 minutes and racked up 28 points. Joseph Girard III, who also played 40 minutes, collected 23 points and Cole Swinder added 15 points and had three assists.

The loss for Syracuse (16-17) marks the end of Buddy’s and Jimmy’s collegiate careers.

Duke faces No. 4 Miami in the tournament semifinals at 7 p.m. ET on Friday.

Contact Us