Legendary Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski could be playing the final game of his career on Saturday when his Blue Devils take on age-old rivals, North Carolina, in what should be an epic Final Four showdown between two teams with national championship aspirations. Krzyzewski will be retiring at the end of this season following over four decades as the head coach for Duke.

In the buildup to the highly anticipated matchup, Coach K shared his thoughts about UNC rookie head coach Hubert Davis. Krzyzewski had nothing but good things to say about his opponent on Saturday night:

“Hubert’s been terrific,” said Coach K, via Kevin Skiver of The Sporting News. “I mean, one, there’s a lot of pressure taking over a program the level of North Carolina’s, with the tradition of excellence that they’ve had. And for him to do it, he’s under immense scrutiny. And they got knocked back a number of times. I just thought he always had poise and he has great humility. And it worked together.”

Davis took over the helm around this time last year as the successor of long-time Tar Heels head coach Roy Williams. As Krzyzewski said, Davis had some big shoes to fill and had immense pressure on his shoulders as soon as he was promoted as head coach. Nevertheless, in spite of adversity, Davis has done exceptionally well in his first year as North Carolina’s head coach, leading the team to the Final Four for the first time since 2o17.

Coach K continued by expressing how much he respects Davis for being his own man, so to speak:

“And he had a belief in his players and in what he was doing,” Krzyzewski said. “He and I did a thing together here yesterday, and I mentioned that he’s run his own race. He hasn’t tried to be Dean Smith or Roy or anybody else. He’s been himself in that culture. But he knows that culture. He’s worked in it and he’s played in it. And now he’s adapting who he is into that culture. And I think that’s a great way for a culture to grow. And he’s done a marvelous job.”

That’s not all Krzyzewski had on his mind during the press conference, though. As he said himself, “I don’t know if I’ll ever get a chance to talk to [the media] again,” which is why he took the opportunity to provide his unfiltered view on the direction the NCAA is taking. Earlier in the week, Coach K aired out a bit of frustration towards NCAA president Mark Emmert. Krzyzewski attempted to clarify his comments by stating his own suggestions about how he thinks the league should move forward:

“Yesterday I said about the NCAA, I think we’re all frustrated. And that’s good because if you’re frustrated it means then all constituents want change,” he said.

“The thing that I would recommend is that this is a transformational time for college athletics. When you transform, the main thing you transform is structure, organization. The structure we have right now does not work. And so if the transformational committee is geared — I hear all these things that they’re coming out with all the compliance stuff. That should come after structure.”

Krzyzewski has some radical insight but right now, Coach K will need to keep his mind on the task at hand. Krzyzewski has been through it all in what has been a decorated career, so this should not be a problem at all.

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When asked to share his thoughts about the magnitude of the upcoming matchup with regard to Duke’s long-standing rivalry with North Carolina, Krzyzewski typically played down the showdown:

“I don’t know that it’s more important,” he said. “But it’s not more important because it’s North Carolina. It would always be important if it’s North Carolina. It’s the most important because if you win you get a chance to play for the national championship. And that has to be your focus. That’s the focus.”

The winner of Saturday’s clash will face Kansas, who themselves blew out Villanova in impressive fashion earlier in the day, 81-65. Every single Duke supporter will be hoping to end Coach Krzyzewski’s career on a high note. After all, there is no better way to send off a legend of the sport with one final NCAA title. That would only be fitting for a man like Mike Krzyzewski. Then again, I’m pretty sure that Hubert Davis and his Tar Heels would love to spoil that fairy tale ending.