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Brad Brownell looks ahead to his final regular season showdown with Mike Krzyzewski

Matt Mynes, Contributor

Clemson men’s basketball head coach Brad Brownell squats down while watching his team take on North Carolina on Feb. 8, 2022.

As Clemson men’s basketball welcomes No. 7 Duke into Littlejohn Coliseum this Thursday, legendary Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski will be making his final trip to Clemson. Following a 71-69 loss to the Blue Devils in late Jan., Clemson head coach Brad Brownell is excited to potentially end this historic ACC coaching rivalry with a win.  

Despite the competitive nature of their rivalry, coach Brownell has reverence for Krzyzewski, who announced that he will retire following the end of this season.  

“Obviously what he’s done for the game speaks for itself,” Brownell said. “He’s been an incredible ambassador for not only our league but college basketball in general. We’re all thankful and grateful that somebody in his position would care enough about everybody else in this sport to be as involved.”  

Clemson basketball has had trouble with Krzyzewski-led Duke teams even in Littlejohn Coliseum, where the Blue Devils have won 21 of 32 matchups since 1980.  

Brownell’s most iconic win over Duke came during the 2019-20 season, where the unranked Tigers upset No. 3 Duke 79-72. This game made for one of the biggest upsets in Clemson basketball history, and the Tigers are hoping to pull off something similar on Thursday.  

Clemson has a 3-11 record when facing Duke with Brownell at the helm, a record that he is hoping to improve this Thursday. Even though Krzyzewski has the upper hand in this rivalry, Brownell hopes to see Coach K stick around post-retirement.   

“Hopefully he’s going to stay involved,” Brownell said of Krzyzewski. “We need him to stay involved. He’s very forward thinking. Sitting in ACC meetings with him and listening to him, he’s thinking about things that are on the horizon and he has some fantastic ideas.”   

Krzyzewski and Brownell will meet for the final time in the regular season when the Tigers host Duke this Thursday at 8:00 p.m. EST.  

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