A story guarantees greatest Duke basketball season in history

Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Duke basketball
Duke basketball (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

Sad Duke basketball tears

It didn’t take long for me to figure out what Dad was talking about in regard to Mike Krzyzewski’s mastermind.

That spring in 1988, after notching a 3-0 sweep against UNC and winning the ACC Tournament, Duke returned to the Final Four. I vividly remember my brother, who was too cool of an eight-year-old to put away his LEGO set and study those guys in blue with me and Dad, laughed at me with his buddy as my eyes swelled at the sight of Blue Devils ending their pursuit with a loss to Kansas.

Side note: My brother and that kid both ended up going to NC State years later; in other words, to this day, they just don’t understand what it means to root for a champion.

The next season, 1988-89, a similar scenario played out in the ever-loud Giles house. Duke reached the Final Four but lost to Seton Hall. I cried. Brother laughed.

Again, however, Dad proved to have my back.

By this time, he and I were all-out bonding while sharing the journey to what we then both had no choice in our hearts but to believe in: the utter Duke basketball greatness on the horizon with Coach K adapting and growing wiser…