Mike Krzyzewski is no longer Duke’s head coach, watching from the outside in as Jon Scheyer led the historic basketball program into a new era. Duke played well to end the regular season, earning a 5-seed in the tournament, easily dispatching Oral Roberts in the first round and advancing to play Tennessee in the Round of 32.

That’s where the unexpected happened. The Vols bullied the Blue Devils, especially on defense, in a 13-point win to move to the Sweet 16.

On Tuesday, Krzyzewski joined the crew at SiriusXM College Sports radio to relay his thoughts on the game. He took his hat off to a Tennessee team he explained was a bad matchup for Scheyer’s group, saying their defense and experience gave them the win in a game that simply did not go Duke’s way from the jump.

“Tennessee, they lost their point guard 3 weeks ago and everyone kinda was putting dirt in their grave, you know,” Coach K said. “That’s it. They didn’t realize they’re coached by one of the great coaches in our country in Rick Barnes. And they play defense, they’re one of the top 5 defensive teams in the country. Talking to Jon Scheyer, he (was) unbelievably worried about the game because they’re older and very physical. And they played outstanding defense, outstanding defense. And their offense clicked that game and that’s it. Hats off to Tennessee, they deserved to win.  As much as that loss stings, when you can look back, the guys were prepared, we lost to a team that played really well.”

Tennessee played one of its better games of the season on Saturday, and they have a chance to make some history Thursday against FAU. Should the Vols win, they’ll advance to their 2nd ever Elite 8 with a chance at their first Final Four appearance in school history.

It’s not where Tennessee fans thought the Vols would be at this time 2 weeks ago, but Rick Barnes’ squad has shown their potential in spurts all season. Now, it’s only a matter of holding it together as the stakes get higher.