In February, head men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski celebrated his 1,000th game in thirty years of coaching at Duke. The editorial staff has compiled its own list of the five most memorable games he's coached. Which of the five is the most memorable, and why?
Gene Banks '81 donned a tuxedo and threw roses to the crowd before the game to help celebrate senior night, then buried a turnaround jump shot at the buzzer to force overtime. Banks rebounded a Vince Taylor '82 miss and scored the game winner with nineteen seconds remaining, giving Coach K his first victory over Dean Smith's Tar Heels.
March 9, 1986—ACC Tournament, Greensboro
(1) Duke 68 (6)Georgia Tech 67
Coach K's first conference championship came from the hustle and hard work of seniors Johnny Dawkins '86; Mark Alarie '86; Jay Bilas '86, J.D. '92; David Henderson '86; and a team that also featured freshman Danny Ferry '89 and junior Tommy Amaker '87, M.B.A. '89. After losing earlier in the year to a Georgia Tech team that included ACC greats and future NBA players Mark Price, John Salley, Craig Neal, and Bruce Dalrymple, Duke pulled out a one-point win and went on to the NCAA championship game, losing to Louisville.
March 30, 1991—NCAA Final Four, Indianapolis
(6)Duke 79 (1)UNLV 77
In the 1990 NCAA championship game, the Runnin' Rebels humiliated Duke, winning by thirty points, and rolled through the next season undefeated. In the NCAA tournament semifinal, the Devils beat UNLV in a nail biter, with Bobby Hurley '93 hitting a huge late-game three pointer. Duke went on to beat Kansas in the finals to claim the university's first basketball national title.
March 28, 1992—NCAA East Regional Final, Philadelphia
(1)Duke 104 OT (6)Kentucky 103
In this iconic game, Grant Hill '94 connected on a long inbounds pass to Christian Laettner '92, who buried a buzzer-beating shot from just behind the foul line, sending Duke to the Final Four. The Devils went on to win their second straight national title, beating the "Fab Five" from the University of Michigan in the finals.
March 4, 2001—Dean E. Smith Center, Chapel Hill
(2) Duke 95 (4) UNC 81
After Carlos Boozer '03 went down with a foot injury against Maryland in the regular season's penultimate game, Coach K reinvented the Blue Devils for their showdown with the Tar Heels. He moved freshman Chris Duhon '04 to point guard and Jason Williams '02 to shooting guard and had his team fire three pointers with abandon. The team, which also included Duke notables Shane Battier '01, Mike Dunleavy '03, and current assistant coach Nate James '01, won six games in a row before Boozer rejoined the team in the Sweet Sixteen. Duke then went on to win its third national championship, beating Arizona in the finals.