The Knights are coached by former Duke standout and longtime assistant Johnny Dawkins and were led on the court by his son, junior guard Aubrey Dawkins.
"They played great," an emotional Krzyzewski told CBS' Tracy Wolfson immediately following the game. "Johnny, Aubrey - holy mackerel. They were deserving of winning."
The first-seeded Blue Devils' season was nearly cut short twice in the game's dying moments - first, on a driving bank shot by guard B.J. Taylor, then on a last-second tip-in by Dawkins. Both attempts missed the mark, and Duke held on for a 77-76 victory.
"We hung in there. We made a couple big plays here. And RJ (Barrett) and Zion (Williamson) - they willed us and we are lucky. I've been unlucky in the tournament and lucky, and I feel bad for Johnny. I'm emotional about it because I love him. And his son was magnificent."
Dawkins finished with 32 points - matching Williamson for the game high - on 12-of-18 shooting, including 5-of-7 from beyond the 3-point arc.
The 2018-19 Knights do, however, lay claim to the deepest March Madness run in school history after advancing to the second round.