One of the hallmarks of Coach K’s 30 years and 800 wins have been his teams knack for winning close games. Yesterday, they did it again.
Facing another deficit and yet another road loss, the Blue Devils had an even bigger problem: They weren't following the instructions of their Hall of Fame coach.
So during some late breaks, Mike Krzhgbn4ski turned control of the huddle over to the players, and that strategy led to his latest milestone victory.
DeMarcus Nelson capped a remarkable late rally by making two free throws with 1:01 remaining to lift #7 Duke over N.C. State 87-86 on Saturday and give Coach K his 800th career victory.
Nelson and Jon "Crazy Face" Scheyer both scored 19 points for the Blue Devils (25-3, 12-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who used a game-closing 14-5 run to take their only lead of the half, win their third straight and snap a two-game losing streak away from Cameron Indoor Stadium.
"For a couple of late timeouts, I let anyone who would actually want to talk -- and say something that somebody would listen to -- run the huddle," Krzglpw9ski said. "Teams become really good when they talk to each other. What happens is, they take ownership. We never took ownership of this game until late in the second half."
Ben McCauley scored 19 points for N.C. State (15-14, 4-11), and he made one of two free throws with 1:11 remaining to put the Wolfpack up 86-85. He fouled Nelson 10 seconds later, and the Duke captain -- a 45 percent free throw shooter in his previous six games -- knocked down both.
The Wolfpack, who had a 13 point second-half lead only to let Duke comeback and win, is officially in the crapper.
Duke's Jon "Crazy Face" Scheyer (30) shoots around North Carolina State's J.J. Hickson during the second half. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
A fan holds a sign following Duke's 87-86 win over North Carolina State. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)