83-81 Duke with 5:25 left in regulation.
Looks like it's going to OT...
98-98 in OT with 54 seconds left.
Duke up 102-101 with 7 seconds. Timeout KY........Here we go.
It's still Duke 104 - Kentucky 103.
That's the first time I've seen a replay since the game itself. I had forgotten how many huge shots were made late in the 2nd half and leading up to THE SHOT.......Wow.
The first thing out of Coach K's mouth on the floor to CBS's Lesley Visser is to congratulate Kentucky. Pure class.
I just realized they replaced my ESPN Classic with VH1Classic. Thanks, TIme-Warner, you guys are awesome.
Yup, just watched it .... without a doubt, the best college game I have ever seen.
The double-clutch jumper to beat Connecticut in the regional final was exceptional, but this one will thrill people for a long, long, long time.
On that particular day, I was taping it while I watched the original telecast, and with the sound muted, listening to the great Caywood Ledford (the legendary UK announcer) on the radio calling the play-by-play. Without missing a beat, the moment Laettner's shot went through the net, he said " Gooooood, THAT's why their NUMBER #1..."
Wish I could have taped that ending.
What a finish.
Great game. Strangely enough , Laettner's tech against Aminu Timberlake looked to be something less than the felonious assault that some UK fans have whined about for years. Looked like it was handled correctly by the game officials.
I would have no problem with you doing the exact same light foot-tap on the chest of my father (if he were still alive), or my (step-) brother, or my son, or me--at least, I wouldn't have a problem with it if one of us had been going after you with some rough physical bumping and pushing and grabbing intended to provoke a reaction, like a couple of Kentucky's players had been going after Laettner. I've watched that sequence many times, and as I recall Timberlake just bounced up after the "stomp" looking to the official with a little smirk on his face every time. If you have a version that shows Timberlake suffering an injury that required medical attention from the trainer, or having to be helped off the court, please post a link.
He maintained his calm and cool. He was class and well the same can't be said for Lattner.
As for class, Christian was assessed (properly) with a tech for his actions; he didn't demonstrate anger or bad sportsmanship in any other instance in that game, and I challenge you to find such instances in other games in his Duke career.
Are you a KY fan who simply can not get over that loss?
But suppose Laettner had been ejected. And suppose Kentucky had won the game with Laettner on the bench. The victory would have been considered questionable, if not completely undeserved, everywhere outside the Commonwealth of Kentucky and Chapel Hill. And what is generally regarded as "The Greatest NCAA Tournament Game Ever Played" would instead have been a tainted, disputed contest.
You may not recognize it or be willing to concede it, but in truth, Kentucky and its players and coaches emerged from that game with a more positive image throughout the sports world as the valiant challengers who battled nobly but barely lost in a miracle finish than they would have as the winners of a game tainted by controversy. (I realize that Kentucky fans think it was controversial anyway because Laettner wasn't ejected, but that sentiment does not seem to have gained much traction outside the legions of fellow Duke-haters.) And frankly, if you remember the historical reasons why those players came to be loved and immortalized as "The Unforgettables," Kentucky needed a positive image boost more than it needed another win and even another trip to the Final Four. In a very real sense, that game--that tragic loss--marked the final karmic penance that restored Kentucky's honor.
In any event, it's over. It's been over for more than 16 years. And no one is ever going to change that call or the final score. It's unfortunate that so many Kentucky fans allow their continued agonizing over a judgment call, which might or might not have made a difference in the outcome, obscure their appreciation of the event, and of how it actually brought such glory and admiration and respect to the Wildcats even in defeat. But if it is some consolation for you to proclaim that Timberlake was more "classy" than Laettner, suit yourself.
Christian's move in the UK game was brief and ugly--he probably looked at it as "paybacks" for getting pushed around inside. I was thankful that he was 10-10 from the floor, and 10-10 from the line, but at that moment I didn't "like" him very much
I also remember a different game where he took a pass at the top the lane, drove the rim, and dunked it. Only problem was, he ran over a "help" defender. It was clearly a player control foul, the officials called it, and wiped out the basket. Yet, Laettner and a couple of his teammates went back down the floor, bumping each other with glee, and acting as if he had just made the play of the game. So.... heat of the moment, go figure.
There were times that Coach K went after him, for being a jerk. Coach even said "I love him as a player, but there are times I don't LIKE him at all..." Seems I remember that kind of relationship between Coach Bubas and Art Heyman in the early 60's.
All I'm saying is that, in my opinion, people who think he should have been ejected from the game are demanding a punishment disproportionate to the offense. He didn't punch anyone, or bang anyone's head against the floor, or deliberately inflict injury. It was a taunting action. He lost his composure and did something that was, in common parlance, "classless."
Yes, Laettner was by nature a cocky player with a haughty attitude. Yes, I would have preferred that he and every other Duke player conduct themselves at all times like Grant Hill and be role models. But as my friend Throatybeard likes to remind us from time to time, we have no reason to expect Duke kids to be any different from other college players; and we shouldn't tout them as being somehow "better," or apologize as if they are somehow "worse."
With that being said, I think Laettner's "footsie" is the point where a lot of casual fans began to turn sour on Duke. Though I clearly remember watching that game, I was only 8 years old, so some of you are probably better suited to speak on this.
Was Laettner's actions the beginning of what is now known as the "Duke Hatred Tsunami"?
Laettner was the star player, and the 'Cats successfully got under his skin, but it's still his fault. The roles are reversed 12 years later, and a walk-on gets under Chris Paul's skin, but somehow now it's not the star player's fault... it's Coach K's fault and his evil master plan. Noone would ever blame Pitino for Laettner's chest tap-dancing.
To me the Duke hatred started in 2000 or so. You have to remember, while many people disliked Laettner, the distain for Coach K that is now so prominent was non-existent then. At the time, the other heavyweight coaches, Bobby Knight, Jerry Tark, and Dean Smith, had been around long enough to have aquired a much larger legion of disapproval. Plus, up until a year before, Duke had been the team that could never win the big one, and was a loveable and non-threatening darkhorse for many. The following years, Grant Hill, whom I believe was loved by everyone, was the face of the program.
I think that the Duke hatred really became apparent for me in 2000, when we finally lost players to the NBA, but didn't miss a beat on the court--we just went out and beat everyone again. People didn't think that was fair, and they got pissed off.