Duke basketball: Three reasons officiating often favors Blue Devils

Duke basketball (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /
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Duke basketball
Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

1. Coach K acts advantageously

From my 38 years on this planet, I’ve come to learn that, for the most part, folks are naturally kindest to those they simultaneously fear and revere. Mike Krzyzewski checks both boxes — though only in the eyes of objective onlookers, of course.

When talking to the guys in stripes, the 72-year-old’s mannerisms are fiercely intense in some instances and pleasantly conversational in others. While he won’t stand for nonsense, he does stand up for the common-sense approach of treating others with respect. In other words, he helps his team’s cause during encounters with refs by exhibiting an ideal mix of corrective communication and cordial chitchat.

Krzyzewski, the product of a blue-collar Chicago family, graduated from West Point and reached the rank of captain for the United States Army before beginning his coaching career way back in 1974. As a result of his wealth of life experiences and top-of-the-line personality, many people — including officials — must instinctively desire to keep him happy.

No doubt, in the heat of on-court battles, the NCAA’s all-time wins leader is clever and calculating in his discussions with the men in black pants who hustle up and down the floor. However, last time I checked, there’s nothing in the rule book that regulates either one’s brain size or one’s deep understanding of human interactions.

Evidently, Coach K’s basketball intellect and psychological advantages rub off on his players…