The victory put Krzyzewski ahead of former North Carolina coach Dean Smith, a man with whom his professional rivalry was so well known that images of Smith dotted the Coliseum, some 13 years after the North Carolina coach retired.
Yet, you see more of a reaction when a defensive lineman stops a play for a 2-yard gain.
Heck, you might see more of a reaction filling in a crossword clue.
On the night of a coaching lifetime, Krzyzewski's celebration was simple, reserved and authentic.
Then it was on to the next game.
Just as the coach would've wanted it.
"I don't want to make it sound less than what it is, but number of wins, you have to be healthy, you have to have really good players, you have to have commitment from your school,'' Krzyzewski said. "So, I don't know if that's as much an achievement as much as the result of having all those things.
"When you win a championship ... those are achievements.''
Krzyzewski's climb up the all-time wins list ladder has come with all the pomp and circumstance with which you make your morning coffee, and intentionally so. The coach who now has more Final Fours (11) as letters in the last name he had to spell at his introductory press conference in 1980, has preferred to keep the focus on his team, rather than his milestones.
Yet at the Greensboro Coliseum, the home court of the ACC, which has hosted 22 league tournaments and sits not far from Tobacco Road, Krzyzewski took a moment for celebration and reflection, as reserved as it might have been.
"The thing about being a coach is being committed to the team you have," Krzyzewski said. "We never talked about winning a fourth national championship, we talked about Jon Scheyer and Zoubek and Lance winning their first, and we needed to be in their moment. Tonight [the Duke team] were kind of in my moment. I don't want them to be in my moment, I wanted them to get into their moment and get ready for Miami."
Krzyzewski's moment, all 880-wins wide, was large enough to share.
There was Duke basketball before Krzyzewski, Final Fours, All-Americans, ACC championships, but there was Duke basketball in the way there were computers before Steve Jobs or cars before Henry Ford.
No, Krzyzewski didn't build this Duke program, but he was the one who took it public, turned it into a brand and put his face on the label.
Wednesday night was a victory lap for the man whose cumbersome last name became simply Coach K, a standing ovation for all he had done. More than 22,000 filled the arena, most draped in Duke blue, many who had waited in lines outside the arena two hours before game time to see a point guard from Chicago top a kindly Kansan for most important wins record in North Carolina.
It couldn't have been more different from Krzyzewski's earliest days here, when he struggled to an 11-17 record in his third season, leading to cries for his ouster.
But when life gives Krzyzewski lemons, he makes lemonade, starts a lemonade bottling company and corners the citrus market.
Wednesday night, the only thing resembling a cry was the moments Krzyzewski seemed to fight back a tear or two.
"When I walked out and I saw the full house and saw so many Duke fans, I did take a moment to reflect back," Krzyzewski said. "When I first got to North Carolina there weren't very many Duke shirts, and to see that type of crowd, I really want to thank the people who came tonight ... the people who paid to get here and show their support for our program. That was a really nice thing."
The game had a ring of the familiar. Smiling Duke players. Embraces with Krzyzewski. Opponents walking off with a confused look on their face that suggests someone asked them to recite the second verse of the Star Spangled Banner or list all 34 college bowl games. If it seemed like the thousandth time the scene had played out, you would've been close.
Yet the moments after the game glowed with history.
"We knew it was a big deal, to be honest, about how big the figure really is," senior Kyle Singler said. "Only a handful of guys, Bob Knight, as head coach, have had that many wins. It's kind of crazy that you're going through a time where the Coach is putting up those kind of numbers, but it's really a special thing to go through, a great experience."
Then in Krzyzewski fashion, it was time to move on. Not to Bob Knight, the mentor Krzyzewski says he still speaks to once a week, but to the next game, the team's ACC opener against Miami, a game whose only historic implications could be the final margin.
"His focus is always this team and next play," Nolan Smith said. "Tonight he finally let us embrace him a little bit for his accomplishment, but the last thing he said was 'Alright let's get back to Durham. Next play.' He's already ready to move on."
There were no postgame tributes, save for a brief public address announcement, as a cherished mark changed hands from light blue to dark blue. But his team wouldn't yet let Krzyzewski off without a celebration.
The Blue Devils stood in a crowd above the 3-point line after the game's final buzzer sounded, waiting more than five minutes, waiting to embrace their coach. He went one by one – hugging the Plumlee Brothers both at once – before heading off to the locker room.
"Coach cares so much about is, and we see that each and every day," senior Kyle Singler said. "There's not a day that he doesn't come to practice not prepared, not ready to coach, and today -- each game we want to play hard, but there was something extra we wanted to put forth for him, and it was the right thing to do."
The game's outcome was never in doubt, in part because his seniors were so heavily focused on the task at hand. Nolan Smith scored 22 points in the first half alone, and Smith and Singler combined for 53 points on 18-25 shooting.
No one looked ahead on Krzyzewski's historic night.
"This game was bigger than us," Smith said. "It was for all the players that played for coach, all the alumni, everybody that's put on a Duke jersey, it was for everybody . For us to play a great game ... it felt like it was for more than just this team. It was for everybody at Duke."
Krzyzewski spoke admirably of Smith and their respective programs, a mellower perspective than the earlier days of the coaches' rivalries. It was a little like watching Goliath reminisce about how handy David was with the slingshot.
For Krzyzewski, too, that was simply, 'next play.'
"I don't want to take any of that too seriously, but rather say, 'I'm one of the guys who's won a lot of games,''' Krzyzewski said. "To share a spotlight with Dean and (Bob Knight), that's a great honor.''
For Nolan Smith, the win was something of a personal tribute.
"He means so much to me, he's done so much for my game, growing up as a person, he's really just taught me so much," Smith said. "He's a great leader. It's hard to explain how much I've learned from him. He's been the greatest mentor for me."
Then it was time to move on.
As the team donned sweatsuits for the hour-long bus ride back to Durham there were smiles and a sense of accomplishment for Krzyzewski, and an echoed phrase bouncing around the room
On the night that Krzyzewski passed Dean Smith, the final message was simple and something Krzyzewski would've been proud of.