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It is all scripted of course, ready for a Monday night conclusion in the Super Dome with Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski cutting down the nets as the Blue Devils celebrate their sixth national championship in Coach K's last game..

With that victory over (fill in the blank) Kansas or Villanova, Coach  K will end a 41-year  Duke coaching career that would put him on the Mt. Rushmore of college basketball along with UCLA's John Wooden, North Carolina's Dean Smith as well as the inventor of the game Dr. James Naismith.

Let the twitter wars about any exclusions, but that is a debate for another time.

At least that is the way it is expected to turn out.

The main event will, of course, be played in prime time on Saturday night when Duke and North Carolina meet for the first time ever in an NCAA tournament game, with a national championship at stake and Coach K in his final game.

Match that story line.

   A victory on Monday would be  Coach K's last one shining moment and nothing that has happened in the past three weeks of college basketball's annual rite of spring known as March Madness suggests it will be any different than that.

"Duke has the most talent,'' said former UConn Coach Jim Calhoun, who has 3 national championships as part of his Hall of Fame resume, "and they should win.

When the regular season ended three weeks ago with a one--sided Duke loss-at Cameron Indoor Arena-Coach K tried to minimize the damage and the disappointment.

There would be other games, other chances to continue a curtain call for a career which kept adding to its own credentials.

The Blue Devils did jump start their season, blitzing through two weekends of wins in NCAA West Regional games, while top seeded Gonzaga was being upset by Arkansas.


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Duke has won 2,115 games, of which Krzyzewski has been the coach in, 1,196 of those wins, more than anyone in college basketball history.

As the Blue Devils put things back , after their flame out against North Carolina and then losing to Virginia Tech in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament final, Krzyzewski diffused the attention by talking about the experience.

"Before they walked out on the court (at  practice session), I said just take a few minutes to let it sink in and understand there are only four teams in the United States, four men's teams who are going to experience this,'' said Coach K at Thursday's media session. "So make the most of the experience''.

What makes this Final Four even more  noteworthy is the pedigree of the field. Amongst them, they have appeared in 17 Final Fours. 

Villanova has won 2 national championships in the past 5 years and in Jay Wright, the Wildcats have the best coach of his generation.

North Carolina, coached this year by former Tar Heel star Hubert Davis, is making its third Final Four appearance in the past 5 years.

 Kansas, North Carolina and Duke are the 2nd, 3rd and 4th winningest programs in college basketball history,  trailing only No. 1 Kentucky.

The fact that a match up such as Kansas vs. Villanova is relegated to warm up status, shows you the overwhelming force of Duke and Carolina meeting for the first time in an NCAA tournament--with the ending of Coach K 's career a special appetizer for Carolina fans, separated by only 14 miles from their Tobacco Road riva

On Thursday, Coach K was asked if he caught himself thinking about the possible story book ending of cutting down the nets on Monday night.

"I  have tried not to do that, because than I think  would leave a hole somewhere in your preparation for the game on Saturday,'' he said. ""I think you have to be all in on Saturday and then accept the consequences of it. And hopefully that will be good for us. But I think approaching it that way, whatever happens then I'll feel good about it. 

And I didn't do this season to have a storybook. I did it because I wanted to coach one more year and I want to have a good succession plan for our pro.'

So far, so good.

But as the final curtain is about to come down, Coach K, as usual is doing it his way.