CRAWFORD | Krzyzewski says U of L playing 'best basketball in the country'
INDIANAPOLIS (WDRB) -- Twenty-one years and three days after Christian Laettner's iconic shot that beat Kentucky in the 1992 NCAA East Region championship in Philadelphia, Mike Krzyzewski and Rick Pitino will face each other again with the Final Four on the line.
Duke beat Michigan State 71-61 to advance to a rematch of an early-season game against the Cards. Duke won that game 76-71, but U of L was playing without starting center Gorgui Dieng, who broke his wrist one night earlier.
All five Duke starters scored in double-figures in that game, led by center Mason Plumlee with 16. U of L's Russ Smith had 17 points in the game, and Peyton Siva 16.
Right after the Michigan State victory Friday night, Krzyzewski spoke about that early-season meeting, but said Louisville is a much different team right now.
"We played them a long time ago in November, and they didn't have their center, Dieng, who's a great, great player. So we're fortunate enough to win that game. But they've been playing the best basketball in the country, and I'll know more ‑‑ I love their two guards. I think they're great kids and they're dynamic. They're dynamic. Those two kids are dynamic.
But they're deep. They're a deep team. So we're going to not ‑‑ we can't turn the ball over against them."
Those two games -- the Laettner classic and the Bahamas matchup -- are the only time Krzyzewski, a Basketball Hall of Famer, and Pitino, a finalist for the Hall of Fame next month, have met.
Duke and U of L have NCAA Tournament history. The Cardinals beat the Blue Devils in the 1986 NCAA championship game.
More to come after the teams practice today. Check back at WDRB.com for updates from team practices and interviews this afternoon, or click here to follow Eric Crawford on Twitter for instant updates.
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