SAN FRANCISCO -- Toward the end of Duke's 78-73 win over Texas Tech on Thursday night in the Sweet 16, the Blue Devils fans who'd swarmed Chase Center were suddenly unsure if they were witnessing the continuation of a career or the end of one.


 

In a competitive game that featured 11 ties and 13 lead changes, the fans realized they might be watching the final minutes of Mike Krzyzewski's tenure, with Duke battling a team that entered the night with the nation's top defense.

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But Krzyzewski listened to his players late in the game when they told him it was time to go back to a man-to-man defense after a zone had disrupted Texas Tech's flow in the second half. His trust in them helped the program secure a trip to the Elite Eight and a matchup against Arkansas.

"It was like a Catholic boys' choir," Krzyzewski said about his players' collective call for the second-half tweak. "It was a chorus. They all said it. They all said it, and they said it with enthusiasm: 'We want to do this. We want to go man.' God bless them. What a great group, these kids. They've grown up so much in the last 12 days. It's such a joy. It's an amazing thing."

The change seemed to confuse the Red Raiders, and, more importantly, it helped Duke regain its confidence. With the win, Duke extended Krzyzewski's final season with key decisions and clutch plays down the stretch

The Blue Devils scored on 12 of their final 15 possessions and made their final eight shots from the field.