Coach K: 20-Game Schedule Hurt ACC, "Because People Scheduled Wrong"


This season was the first time the ACC played a 20-game conference schedule, to help support the brand new ACC Network.

While it provided programming for the new television venture, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski thinks it also hurt the teams in the league.

Krzyzewski spoke about the change in the schedule as his team was nearing the end of it last month.

“We’re going to play what you have to play,” he said. “I think it still hurt.”

The NCAA Tournament was cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, but before that decision was made, a large number of ACC teams found themselves on the bubble or on the wrong side of it, with just a handful of teams—Duke, Florida State, Louisville and Virginia—assured of bids. Krzyzewski sees a connection between the expanded schedule and that outcome.

“You know what it did?” he said, “I think people scheduled wrong. Then their total package (of games suffered). We already have a tough schedule, so that doesn’t influence us. You’ve got to be careful about it. We have a whole bunch of teams that are close (to a bid). Maybe with 18 (conference games) they’d have played someone else too (out of conference). Instead we beat one another. Not a big proponent for it, because it reduces (non-conference marquee games).”

“For some reason, I was in our conference room, doing our notes,” he continued. “And ESPN-U was showing all the (NC)State-Duke games. I’m watching. It’s 1988. Me and Jimmy (Valvano). I said, ‘Holy crap.’ First of all, how young we both looked. We’re running around, going nuts. There’s (Chris) Corchiani, (Rodney) Monroe, (Quin) Snyder, (Danny) Ferry. You could play a national schedule (back then). That made our league. It helped make our league, because everybody did it. I’m not sure people will do that. We’ll still try to do it a little bit. I know Carolina will. Still not a big proponent.”