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Coach K impressed with Virginia defense

After holding on against Georgia Tech on Saturday for an 81-74 victory, Duke’s next game is an interesting one.

The Blue Devils (13-2, 1-0) will host Virginia (14-1, 1-0) on Thursday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium (ESPN, 9 p.m.). While the Cavaliers didn’t have the most rigorous non-conference schedule in the country, Virginia did manage to beat Michigan, Oregon and LSU while losing only to TCU.

With its slower tempo, Virginialeads the conference in scoring defense, yielding 50.5 points per game. The Cavaliers are also in the top three in the conference in field-goal defense (38 percent) and 3-point percentage defense (27 percent).

A look back at Duke's win over Georgia Tech

ATLANTA – When it was suggested to Mason Plumlee that Duke looked a bit fragile during stretches of Saturday’s 81-74 win over Georgia Tech, the Blue Devils’ junior forward didn’t disagree.

“I would just say it’s part of having a young team,” Plumlee said. “I wish I wasn’t still saying this now, but the more we’re in these situations and close games, the better we’ll get at it. We’re getting better.”

Easy to overlook after Duke’s 78-73 loss to Temple on Wednesday is the fact that this Blue Devil team is still a relatively young, inexperienced team. In addition to the underclassmen who are playing key minutes, juniors such as Ryan Kelly, Seth Curry and Mason Plumlee have all taken on more expanded roles than in years past.

SI names Krzyzewski, Summitt Sportsman and Sportswoman of Year

Coach K named SI's Sportsman of the YearSports Illustrated announced this morning that Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski and Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt have been named the magazine's Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year.

The NCAA's all-time winningest coaches in men and women's basketball, Krzyzewski and Summitt join UCLA's John Wooden (1972) and North Carolina's Dean Smith (1997) as college coaches who have received the magazine's award.

Famous faces making Duke's China trip

DURHAM -- As big an attraction as Duke figures to be in China, the Blue Devils’ traveling party won’t lack for celebrity either.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said Tuesday that he expects former Duke players Grant Hill, Jay Williams, Nolan Smith and Kyrie Irving to join the team for part or all of the team’s trip to China and Dubai, as will Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers, whose son Austin is a freshman guard for the Blue Devils.

Duke leaves Sunday for the two-week tour that will include three games against Chinese teams and a fourth against the national team of the United Arab Emirates.

Krzyzewski praises Miller

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- After being the victim of a near-perfect second half by Arizona, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski offered some praise for Wildcats coach Sean Miller and the job he has done rebuilding the Arizona program in the post-Lute Olson era.

"Lute is one of the top coaches to ever coach in college and that brand never went away, even though there were some not-so-good things happening, and then Sean is just a heck of a coach," Krzyzewski said. "He's a really good guy, but he's a great coach and he had his team so well prepared. It was a great hire for them, to build back a brand that was right -- you know, it's there."

Duke battling geography, history tonight

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- In an effort to fend off any potential jet lag, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski told his players to stay up late Monday night, before they left Durham for the West Coast.

Given the struggles of eastern-based No. 1 seeds to survive the West Regional and Duke’s NCAA tournament history in the Pacific Time Zone under Krzyzewski, it was probably worth trying just about anything in preparation for tonight's regional semifinal against Arizona.

Krzyzewski: Irving will not start against Arizona

Duke will bring freshman guard Kyrie Irving off the bench Thursday night in the Blue Devils' NCAA regional semifinal game against Arizona, coach Mike Krzyzewski said today.

Sidelined since injuring the big toe on his right foot while playing against Butler on Dec. 4, Irving returned to the court Friday and scored a team-high 14 points in the Blue Devils' NCAA tournament opener, an 87-45 rout of Hampton. Preparing this afternoon for his team' departure for Anaheim, Calif., Krzyzewski said he has no plans to reinsert the talented freshman back into the starting lineup.

"We're good with who we're starting," Krzyzewski said.

Green: Irving's smooth return bodes well for Blue Devils

CHARLOTTE -- Well, that was a tidy day’s work for the Duke Blue Devils.

With a comforting lack of drama, the top-seeded Blue Devils manhandled Hampton 87-45 today in their opening NCAA tournament game at Time Warner Cable Arena.

It was noteworthy for its efficient workmanship, the return of Kyrie Irving and the fact it moves coach Mike Krzyzewki within three victories of tying his mentor Bob Knight for the most wins ever by a Division I hoops coach.

Tudor: Two-man race for top coach

It’s virtually unheard of for only two coaches to get votes in the ACC postseason awards derby, but that should be the case this year.

Other than Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski and North Carolina’s Roy Williams, there’s just not another viable candidate.

Coach K gets win No. 880 to pass Dean Smith

GREENSBORO - The horde of cameramen surrounding Mike Krzyzewski as he walked onto the court would have seemed more appropriate for a visiting head of state than a basketball coach.

But Krzyzewski was about to surpass one of the most sacred numbers in a sport that’s approached with religious fervor in North Carolina. Everything else took a back seat Wednesday night at the Greensboro Coliseum.

The game was never in doubt because top-ranked Duke and Krzyzewski entered the game undefeated, while UNC Greensboro was winless in 11 games. So all eyes were on Krzyzewski as he won his 880th game to move past former North Carolina coach Dean Smith into second place on Division I career coaching victory list.

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