The Blue Devils were already down a man as star forward Zion Williamson has been nursing a knee injury for the last couple of weeks.
Krzyzewski downplayed more specifics, but Tuesday was his most emphatic assurance that Williamson would, in fact, return to the Duke lineup.
Haley Gorecki added 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists for Duke (15-14).
Retiring Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade sat behind the scorer's table, and a video played on the scoreboard during a timeout featured Krzyzewski thanking the 13-time All-Star for helping the US national team win gold medals in 2004 and '08.
Virginia (28-2, 16-2 ACC) wrapped up the regular-season championship and the tournament's No. 1 seed with its 73-68 win over Louisville Saturday prior to the start of the Duke-UNC game. "For the most part, I thought we competed".
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The attorney said the State of Alabama recognizes life beginning with conception, and this case could put that law to the test. Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, tweeted Tuesday that the Alabama lawsuit is a "very scary case".
His 21 points - 14 of which came after the intermission - came on 8-of-18 shooting, and he was 4-for-10 from beyond the arc.
In order for that to happen, though, the Blue Devils may need to play the maximum 10 more games.
Duke and North Carolina square off for the second time this season on Saturday at 6 p.m.in Chapel Hill.
Krzyzewski said he is unsure of the severity of the injury.
Thanks to their much-hyped frosh trio of the forementioned Williamson, who is widely expected to be the top overall pick in the upcoming 2019 NBA Draft, swingman R.J. Barrett and small forward Cam Reddish, the Duke Blue Devils are listed as 6-1 odds to win their sixth national title according to online betting site, Odds Shark. Yes, it's hard to turn down free points with a team as talented as Duke, but this is a bad matchup as long as Zion isn't playing. Yet that 11-0 burst that finally jarred the Tar Heels loose in a tight game was a display of why they have lost just twice in league play: fast-paced, explosive and at times withering for opponents to chase down.
"He'd love to play Saturday, too, if he's ready", Krzyzewski said.