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Mike Krzyzewski's 10 Greatest College Teams

Mike Krzyzewski

Coach K will retire next year with a record only surpassed by John Wooden

Duke men's basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski announced in early June that the 2021-22 season will be his last. He has won five national championships and made 12 Final Fours during his 40-plus season head coaching career.

Related: The Final Chapter of Coach K's Career

While Coach K still has one more season to go, here is a look back at the 10 greatest college teams of his career.

10. 2003-04

Record: 31-6
ACC: 13-3 (Regular-season champions)
Finished: Lost to Connecticut 79-78 in Final Four

The Blue Devils made Coach K's 10th Final Four with relative ease but came up short against eventual national champion UConn. This was the deepest that any team with national college player of the year JJ Redick made it in March Madness.

9. 1989-90

Record: 29-9
ACC: 9-5
Finished: Lost to UNLV 103-73 in national championship game

The Blue Devils entered the tournament as a third seed in the East but upset No. 1 Connecticut in the Elite Eight. Duke then cruised past Arkansas but got drubbed by UNLV in the most lopsided title game in NCAA history. However, the Blue Devils got revenge the next season.

8. 1993-94

Record: 28-6
ACC: 12-4 (Regular-season champions)
Finished: Lost to Arkansas 76-72 in national championship game

Senior Grant Hill powered Duke all the way to the NCAA title game, where the Blue Devils fought a war of attrition with Arkansas' "40 Minutes of Hell" defense. Hill hit a three-pointer to tie the game with 90 seconds left, but Razorback guard Scotty Thurman responded with one of his own, and Arkansas hit three free throws to hold on to win.

7. 1985-86

Record: 37-3
ACC: 12-2 (Tournament and regular-season champions)
Finished: Lost to Louisville 72-69 in national championship game

Krzyzewski's first Final Four team only suffered road losses to No. 1 North Carolina and No. 4 Georgia Tech before finishing the regular season with the top ranking. Johnny Dawkins and Co. then made it all the way to the title game before succumbing to Louisville.

6. 1998-99

Record: 37-2
ACC: 16-0 (Regular-season and tournament champions)
Finished: Lost to Connecticut 77-74 in national championship game

Center and top NBA Draft pick Elton Brand helped lead Duke to a perfect ACC record as the Blue Devils lost two games by a total of five points. Unfortunately, one of those losses was to UConn in the title game.  

5. 2014-15

Record: 35-4
ACC: 15-3
Finished: Beat Wisconsin 68-63 in national championship game

After struggling defensively throughout the regular season, Duke saved its best for March Madness, holding all but two of its opponents to 57 points or less. The team that scored the most in the whole tournament was Wisconsin in the title game. Krzyzewski's fifth national championship placed him second on the all-time list, only behind John Wooden.

4. 1990-91

Record: 32-7
ACC: 11-3 (Regular-season champions)
Finished: Beat Kansas 72-65 in national championship game

In the Final Four, Christian Laettner hit two free throws with 12 seconds left to upset defending champion and top-seed UNLV by a score of 79-77, snapping the Runnin' Rebels' 45-game win streak. Duke then took care of business in the championship game to give Coach K his first title.

3. 2009-10

Record: 35-5
ACC: 13-3 (Regular-season co-champions and tournament champions)
Finished: Beat Butler 61-59 in national championship game

Duke was perfect at home and neutral sites and survived a close buzzer-beater by Butler from half court to give Krzyzewski his fourth national title. The win tied Coach K with Adolph Rupp for second on the list of coaches with the most national championships.

2. 2000-01

Record: 35-4
ACC: 13-3 (Regular-season co-champions and tournament champions)
Finished: Beat Arizona 82-72 in national championship game

Coach K's third title was one that came with milestones. The Blue Devils made an NCAA-record 407 3-pointers, while Jay Williams set a Duke single-season scoring record with 841 points and Shane Battier tied an NCAA record with 131 victories.

1. 1991-92

Record: 34-2
ACC: 14-2 (Regular-season and tournament champions)
Finished: Beat Michigan 71-51 in national championship game

The defending national champions' only losses were to Wake Forest, who made the tournament as a No. 9 seed, and to North Carolina, who won the national championship the next year. They easily won the ACC Tournament and then the national title. To give you a sense of how impressive this run was, the Blue Devils' final three opponents in the NCAA Tournament (Kentucky, Indiana, and Michigan) were all No. 1 seeds the next season. Not only is this Krzyzewski's best squad, but it is also one of the greatest college basketball teams of all time.

— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports' Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.