Dick Vitale’s admiration for Mike Krzyzewski and the Duke men’s basketball program is well documented, his case as the greatest college hoops coach of all time isn’t totally open and shut. There’s a fair case to be made that John Wooden, leader of college basketball’s incredible UCLA dynasty in the 1960s and ’70s, should still slot in ahead of Coach K.
Coach K’s 1,202 career wins, 13 career Final Fours and five titles spanning three decades (so far) are certainly impressive. Wooden has him in national titles though, with 10 between 1964 and ’75 with the Bruins.
However, Vitale believes the full body of work gives Krzyzewski the nod over Wooden. He posted his take on the debate to Facebook on Friday morning, a day before Duke takes on archrival North Carolina in the Final Four.
“My method involves the total resume which means total wins ,success in league competition, plus overall NCAA achievements,” Vitale wrote. “The # of wins by Coach are scary 1202 W’s an all time record that will never be broken .Factor in the most trips to the Final Four 13 & 5 national championships is just mind boggling. Let us not forget that he also led the USA to 3 Goal medals. Also the era of competition is so intense & much more competitive.
“The VBDI’s final assessment is that COACH K is the greatest COACH of ALL TIME to work a college sideline. Yes he is the GOAT”
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By reaching the 2022 Final Four, Krzyzewski broke a tie with Wooden in that category. The Blue Devils entered the NCAA tournament smarting from an upset loss to the Tar Heels in Krzyzewski’s final game at Cameron Indoor Stadium, and a 15-point loss to Virginia Tech in the ACC championship.
In the Big Dance, however, Duke has performed very well, with wins over No. 15 Cal State Fullerton, No. 7 Michigan State, No. 3 Texas Tech and No. 4 Arkansas by an average of 10 points.
Duke will attempt to keep the possibility of Krzyzewski going out as a national champion alive on Saturday. Tipoff for the team’s game against UNC is at 8:49 p.m. ET.
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