Duke men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski skipped the end of the handshake line after his team's 64-62 loss to Syracuse on Monday night, but he didn't do it out of spite, says Orange coach Jim Boeheim.
On Tuesday, Boeheim defended Krzyzewski on his radio show, according to Syracuse.com. He said Krzyzewski unintentionally missed a few handshakes after the game because he was distracted by some Duke fans who were yelling at Syracuse's players, according to Syracuse.com.
"He came down the handshake line, somebody told me from who was sitting there, that he was upset with some Duke students who were yelling at our players," Boeheim said. "He was looking at them. The referees were long gone at that time. I heard people on radio today talking about how he was looking at them, but that's not the case, from what I understand. He wouldn't do that. He doesn't like Duke students yelling at players. He's very tough about that. He's as classy as any coach."
Per video of the incident, Krzyzewski appears to look away and miss a few handshakes with some of Syracuse's players and coaches near the end of the handshake line. Boeheim said Krzyzewski was not chasing after officials to contest a non-call against Malachi Richardson, who made contact with Matt Jones in the final seconds of the game during a scramble for a loose ball.
Krzyzewski was not happy about the non-call.
"The last play is amazing," Krzyzewski told reporters after the game. "Have you seen it? Go see it. It is literally amazing. The play with Matt Jones at the foul line. It is amazing basketball. Let's just put it that way."
According to Duke spokesman Cory Walton, Krzyzewski was on the road recruiting on Tuesday. Walton said the school will not comment on the incident.
Duke's loss to Syracuse on Monday night followed losses to Clemson and Notre Dame. For the first time since 1968-69, a ranked Duke team has suffered three consecutive losses to unranked teams, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Boeheim, however, does not believe the loss had any connection to what happened in the handshake line.
"I was listening to the radio this morning coming home, and people were saying he was looking for the referees," Boeheim said on ESPN Radio Syracuse, according to Syracuse.com. "He wasn't looking for the referees after the game. They were gone. They were long gone."