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'K' BETTERS KNIGHT

Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski is congratulated by his former coach and mentor, Bob Knight, whom he passed for the Division I coaching wins record.

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Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski is congratulated by his former coach and mentor, Bob Knight, whom he passed for the Division I coaching wins record.

NEW YORK

Cheek to cheek, Mike Krzyzewski and Bob Knight hugged, a player and his coach celebrating a big win — one it's safe to say might never happen again in college basketball.

The man known simply as "Coach K" became Division I's winningest coach when No. 6 Duke beat Michigan State 74-69 on Tuesday night in the State Farm Champions Classic.

The Blue Devils gave Krzyzewski his 903rd win, breaking the tie with Knight, Krzyzewski's college coach at Army and his mentor throughout his professional career.

With Knight sitting across the court at the ESPN broadcast table and several former players in the stands — many able to attend because of the NBA lockout — Krzyzewski moved to the top of the list in front of a sellout crowd of 19,979 at Madison Square Garden.

Krzyzewski went across the court to hug Knight when the game ended. Krzyzewski, tearing up, broke away, and Knight pulled him back, hands on his shoulders, then there was 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.

"I'm not sure how many people tell him they love him but I love him for what he's done for me and I thanked him. He said, 'Boy, you've done pretty good for a kid who couldn't shoot.' I think that means he loves me, too. At least that's how I'm taking that."

Andre Dawkins had 26 points for Duke (3-0), which took control with a 20-1 run that gave it a 61-41 lead with 9:17 to play. Then it was just a matter of counting down the minutes.

"I can't say I'm surprised because I saw firsthand the level of preparation, the level of passion he put into his program every single day," said Shane Battier, who won a title with Krzyzewski. "I know if you gave him enough opportunity he'd give Bobby Knight a run for his money. It's just amazing to be here on this night to see the culmination of this work."

'K' BETTERS KNIGHT 11/15/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 12:03am]
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