March Madness has finally come to a close. After three action packed week the college basketball season faded to black with a good final act. Entering the season many picked Duke to meet Kentucky in the national title game. Duke held their end of the bargain, but unfortunately Kentucky did not. Instead Coach K had to deal with the senior-heavy Wisconsin.
The title game had everything you want in a title game—star players, suspect officiating and clutch shooting. Duke ended up with the win—Coach K’s fifth national crown and his finest coaching season thus far in his career.
When you think of the typical Duke team you think of players (mostly white) who have been on the team for quite some time—pretty much the Bo Ryan Wisconsin team the Blue Devils beat 68-63. This Duke team resembled for of a John Calipari team—a couple senior role players built around playmaking freshmen.
In today’s one-and-done system we have seen Coach K slowly shift his coaching methods and overall system at Duke to adjust to this new era of college basketball. I can’t remember any Duke team that had these many clear one-and-done players (Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones Justise Winslow and Grayson Allen) have such great success.
Duke has done the one-and-done thing a couple times (Jabari Parker, Kyrie Irving and Austin Rivers), but Coach K has finally mastered how to get through to the younger guys early in the season—something easier said than done. So any Coach K and Duke detractors can now shut their mouth. With their fifth title Coach K now sits alone at number two on the all-time championship list and he doesn’t look like he has any intention of slowing down.