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K Gets 903

Who knew 2011 was the Year of the Rat?

All kidding aside, we will put away snark and other assorted comments about the Evil Empire to offer congratulations to Duke's Mike Krzyzewski on becoming men's college basketball's all-time NCAA wins leader with 903 career victories. K moves past his college coach, Bobby Knight, into first place on a very distinguished list.

To give this accomplishment some perspective, 900 wins means winning 30 games per year for 30 years. Or, to look at it another way, Roy Williams has roughly 640 career wins. Roy would have to win 30 per year for 9 more years to get to the vicinity of 903 (although to be completely fair, K had a 10-year head start as a head coach). With another 3-4 years at his current pace, Krzyzewski could potentially reach 1,000 wins and set the bar so high that no major college coach will ever be able to catch him.

And to K's credit, he is still going strong, just one year removed from his 4th national title. This is in sharp contrast to Knight, who limped across the finish line and whose teams were not really relevant in the national scene for the last 10 years or so of his career.

Sometimes we take for granted the immense basketball heritage and lineage that exists on Tobacco Road. At Duke, K played for Knight, who played for basketball hall of famer Fred Taylor at Ohio State. Roy came from Dean Smith, who played for Phog Allen at Kansas, who played for the inventor of basketball, James Naismith. And college basketball fans in the past 15 years have had the chance to see the all-time wins record fall three times - to Smith in 1997, Knight in 2008, and Krzyzewski in 2011. Heady times indeed.

OK, I feel a group hug coming on, so it's time to end the nice stuff being said about Duke and Coach K. You may resume your hate at your convenience.