NCAA Tournament 2019: Duke's Coach K consoles weeping UCF player after gut-wrenching loss
Krzyzewski stopped to console one UCF player whose career ended on the fate of a missed tip-in at the buzzer
Having coached at Duke in 35 NCAA Tournaments, Mike Krzyzewski has been on both ends of the agony of defeat and the joy of triumph. Following Duke's victory over UCF on Sunday -- a -- Krzyzewski empathized with the Knights' players whose season ended in heartbreak.
When the team's lined up to shake hands after the game, Krzyzewski identified one player, senior Dayon Griffin, who was weeping about what had just transpired. In a touching show of sportsmanship, Krzyzewski consoled him, and the two hugged before parting ways.
Video from after the game also shows the somber scene inside UCF's locker room. In the room was lots of sobbing and plenty of heartbreak, but an upbeat message from coach Johnny Dawkins, who himself was fighting back tears.
"I'm really proud of what you did this year, representing our program and our university" Dawkins said. "You guys have been terrific. Look, man, it will end two ways when you invest like we invest. It will end celebrating, or we're going to end crying, in tears. We end in tears because we invested so much in each other and so much in what we were doing."
Krzyzewski himself got emotional after the game discussing his relationship with Johnny Dawkins in his postgame presser. "I feel bad that they lost," he said. "They were deserving of winning. They were so good, and I'm so proud that those kids played at the level of their coach."
Krzyzewski got choked up on numerous occasions despite getting the win by inches, and it was genuine. The scene from both sides just shows the joy of victory and the gut-wrenching reality that hits when your team is eliminated.
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