Karma was on the side of the Duke basketball program on Saturday night.
Following two days of chaotic news and drama surrounding the Duke basketball program and head coach Mike Krzyzewski, the Blue Devils went to bed on Saturday feeling pretty good.
Despite Duke having its matchup against Charleston Southern canceled last week because of COVID-19 issues, the noise was finally starting to quiet down after the public feud between Coach K and Alabama head coach Nate Oats.
If you are new to this situation, following a 15-point home loss to Illinois, Krzyzewski was asked his thoughts on playing college basketball amid the raging pandemic across the United States.
Many haters of the Blue Devil program took to Twitter to call out the Hall of Famer for using the coronavirus as an excuse to cover up his 2-2 squad, who have fallen twice inside the friendly confines of Cameron Indoor Stadium this season to Top-10 teams (No. 8 Michigan State, No. 6 Illinois).
“I don’t think it feels right to anybody…I know somebody will take what I’m saying tonight and make it like I’m making excuses. I don’t make excuses,” Krzyzewski said.
College basketball coaches around the country were also asked about Krzyzewski’s comments and all danced around it, either siding with Coach K or saying that they feel playing is what is best for their team.
However, Oats took to the podium on Thursday afternoon and blasted Mike Krzyzewski, saying what many on social media have been expressing, that the Duke head coach would not have that point of view had his team been 4-0.
“Do you think if Coach K hadn’t lost the two non-conference games at home that he’d still be saying that?” Oats responded.
And Twitter went crazy, mostly praising the second-year coach in Tuscaloosa for his attack.
Then Saturday night came, and it was time for the Crimson Tide to take the floor against the Clemson Tigers.
Nate Oats might have wanted to spend more time on the practice court with his team and less time listening to Mike Krzyzewski’s press conferences as Alabama shot 30.4 percent from the floor, falling 64-56 to the Tigers.
Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski gets an apology
As if a loss on the court wasn’t hard enough, the boisterous head coach then stepped to the podium again and publicly apologized to Duke and Krzyzewski for his comments.
“I want to publicly apologize to Coach K for what I said…I actually felt terrible about it after the press conference. I reached out to him. He was gracious enough to return my call. I have the utmost respect for him as a coach,” Oats said following the loss.
Eh? Perhaps a coverup on the “I actually felt terrible about it” comment because the smirk on his face on Thursday afternoon as the comments left his mouth didn’t look like the ‘oh man, I shouldn’t have said that’ smirk.
As Coach K was manly enough to call the Alabama head coach back and accept his apology, don’t expect the Krzyzewski’s and the Oats’ to exchange Christmas greetings this season nor hope to see the Blue Devils and Crimson Tide in a mutually agreed upon non-conference game anytime soon.
Maybe Duke will be able to get some on-court revenge this season if Alabama can make its first NCAA Tournament since the 2017-18 season and just its second since 2011-12.