Why did Mike Krzyzewski leave game vs. Wake Forest? Duke head coach exits prior to thrilling finish

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Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski exited Tuesday night’s ACC matchup against Wake Forest at halftime.

The 75-year-old, who is in the midst of his final season with the Blue Devils, was on the sideline for the entire first half but did not return to the court for the second half. Duke shared an update saying Krzyzewski was “not feeling well,” but it didn’t offer any other details.

COACH K’S FINAL SEASON:

Ending the era | Inside the greatest game of all | Getting recruited by the legend

🐐 Update: Coach K is not feeling well. Will not return to bench tonight.

— Duke Men’s Basketball (@DukeMBB) February 16, 2022

The Athletic’s Brendan Marks noted Krzyzewski had been “attended to by Duke trainers several times” during the game.

Krzyzewski missed a game against Wake Forest earlier this season because of a non-COVID illness.

Jon Scheyer replaces Coach K, Duke survives

Assistant coach Jon Scheyer took over head-coaching duties in the second half with the Blue Devils holding a 42-33 lead over the Demon Deacons. Wake Forest mounted a furious comeback late in the game, going on a 9-0 run in the final four minutes and tying Duke at 74 with less than 20 seconds to go.

On the Blue Devils’ final offensive possession, Paolo Banchero drove to the basket and missed a contested layup, but Mark Williams finished a tip slam to put Duke ahead by two points. The officiating crew initially called a goaltending violation, but upon further review, the dunk was ruled a good basket.

As called by @dukepbp and heard on the @varsity app: pic.twitter.com/up0ZQNf6k4

— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) February 16, 2022

Duke held on to win by a final score of 76-74. During his postgame media availability, Scheyer declined to give specifics about Krzyzewski’s status, only saying he is doing “much better.”

Update on Coach K

Jon Scheyer: “Coach is doing better. He needs some rest, but not going to comment more on that. But he’s doing much better, he’s in a much better place.”

— Brendan Marks (@BrendanRMarks) February 16, 2022

The Blue Devils moved to 22-4 overall with the victory. They will next face Florida State on Saturday.

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