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USA - Coach K calls defeat to Greece in 2006 ‘worst loss’
GREENSBORO (NCAA Tournament) - Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski has to take a backseat to no one when it comes to winning college basketball games.
In his 37-year coaching career, Krzyzewski has earned a reputation for being the best in the business.
Twelve times, he has been named National Coach of the Year.
He has turned Duke University into a model program and led the Blue Devils to four NCAA titles.
This season, in the opinion of many experts, Duke surpassed expectations.
By winning enough games during the year, they went into the NCAA Tournament as the second seed in the South Regional.
In a David versus Goliath meeting on Friday, Lehigh played the role of David and shocked Duke, 75-70.
Krzyzewski’s team dropped its first tournament game for only the second time in the past 16 years.
When asked if it was the toughest loss in his 37-year coaching career, Krzyzewski answered: "For me, the next loss is the toughest. So, this is the next one.
“The worst loss I've ever had as a coach was with our national team at the World Championships in 2006 to Greece because that was for my country and you don't get too many of them, though that's the only loss we've had.”
Greece won that Semi-Final 101-95, but the Americans rebounded in Saitama and captured the bronze medal with a victory over Argentina.
Krzyzewski led the USA to gold medals at the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship, at the 2008 Olympics and the 2010 FIBA World Championship.
While he will be excited about taking the national team to London for the Olympics this summer, it’s going to take some time to get over the disappointment of falling to Lehigh.
"For me, on my program, you're on a continuum,” the 65-year-old Krzyzewski said.
“There are four years that we ended up with a win (NCAA title), in my 37 years.
“It's not (American college) football where you have a bowl game and 35 people (teams) end up with a win out of a 100.
“So when that loss comes and how it's inflicted, you just take responsibility for it.
“I think overall, my team did a great job this year, but we did not do a real good job this last week and a half and so, that's upsetting because no matter what happens injury or whatever, you're responsible for trying to figure out a way for your team to play well, so that's on me.”
Krzyzewski stressed, however, that Lehigh were deserving winners.
“We lost to a really good team,” he said.