View Full Version : Fifteen years ago today

03-28-2007, 08:47 AM
28 March 1992 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AY-iq58_oz4)

03-28-2007, 08:51 AM
Thanks for the memory.

03-28-2007, 08:55 AM
I could watch that over and over and over and. . .

Atlanta Duke
03-28-2007, 08:57 AM
ESPN Classic is replaying the game from 7-9 tonight, followed by the 1 hour "Battle Lines" program on '92 Duke-Kentucky

03-28-2007, 08:58 AM
Has it really been 15 years? I feel old.....

03-28-2007, 09:24 AM
AAAAAh, The Perfect Game.


03-28-2007, 09:27 AM
I was in a friends dorm room at UNC (his car had broken down and I, being the great friend I was, went to help him... despite missing some of the game on TV) when this all went down.

I got to see all of the OT in his room. I will not lie... there was a massive roar that tore across the dorm area of campus when Kentucky hit the shot and went ahead w/2.1 seconds left. I felt like I had been hit in the gut.

My friend was a big Duke fan, even at UNC, and just sat in his chair stunned. I remember saying to him that it wasn't over... it wasn't over. I probably said it 5 or 6 times, mostly trying to assure myself that we had a chance.

When Christian hit the shot, we went running up and down the outside balcony screaming our heads off, but there was TOTAL SILENCE at UNC (except for the kind friends who told us where we could go for winning)

/Sniff, sniff
//wipes away tear in honor of the greatest play ever witnessed

mr. synellinden
03-28-2007, 10:28 AM
I was there at the Spectrum - sitting about 15 rows from the court - almost directly even with the spot from which Laettner launched the shot. I remember so clearly yelling at Christian to "shoot it" while he took his dribble and half spin move. Then looking around wildly for the refs to make sure the shot counted.

Imagine going from pure despair during the timeout ... "I can't believe we just blew our season ... I can't believe we're going to lose and blow our whole season ... " to pure ecstasy, jumping up and down and screaming like a little kid. I still get chills thinking about it and watching it.

Isn't it amazing how sports can create those moments of emotion?

03-28-2007, 10:31 AM
That was my freshman year. I feel so lucky to have been on campus that night. It was the greatest bonfire we had the whole time I was there (this was around the time Duke first started thinking seriously about limiting or eliminating the bonfires). I watched the game on Central Campus and sprinted through the Gardens to West within minutes after it ended. By the time I got to West Campus (it couldn't have been more than ten minutes) the bonfire was already RAGING.

An unforgettable moment, and an unforgettable night.

03-28-2007, 11:44 AM
I remember watching it b/c it was on my 6th Birthday so that means I am 21 today so I will be passed out in a couple hours.

03-28-2007, 12:01 PM
I was at a friend's house and when the UK shot fell, I came thisclose to walking out the door and driving home because the game was over. Something made me stay and when Laettner hit that shot, I almost hit my head on the top of the door frame where I was standing when I watched it. The next day (I was a senior in high school), all the UNC fans (and there were a lot) were trying not to trip over their bottom lips.

03-28-2007, 12:11 PM
For some reason I watched and taped the game.

I was at home and watching in the bedroom TV. After the Kentucky shot I went downstairs and told my wife that Duke was going to lose. We turned on the TV in the family room and saw the GREAT PLAY.


03-28-2007, 02:46 PM
I was 8 and my older brother was 9, and he was the actually the huge Duke fan at the time. The funny/weird part, though, is that not only do I remember watching that game, but I remember everything I did that day leading up to the game in the evening. I remember what I had for lunch and dinner, I remember my brother had his best friend sleep over, everything. I don't know how many people remember everything they did on a day when they were 8 years old, but I do for some really odd reason. Guess it's safe to say the actual game is one I will never forget...

03-28-2007, 02:56 PM
Yes, I'm a little late with the question already answered by many.

I was at a party in Marblehead, Massachusetts. I get nervous during Duke games and sometimes leave the room but somehow I managed to sit through the entire overtime in the same room as the TV. As it left Laettner's hands I shouted "That's going in!". We made a pile on the floor not unlike the player's on the court.

OK, something's been bugging me for awhile, and I want to know the answer enough that I'll risk the scorn of others here for not already knowing. Who is it that falls down under the basket after the shot goes through? Is it Brian Davis? I just don't remember who was number 21 on that team, sorry. I think I see Brian Davis in another shot with his warm-up on, so who falls down?

Watching that clip DOES NOT GET OLD! (Somebody should send it to Bill Simmons.)

03-28-2007, 03:09 PM
I'm not sure who falls down, but Antonio Lang was #21.

03-28-2007, 03:13 PM
I'm not sure who falls down, but Antonio Lang was #21.

Yep, that was him.

03-28-2007, 03:28 PM
I was in the family room at my parents house watching and when Woods made a straight on bank shot I started screaming at the TV because I could not believe we were going to lose on a bank shot. During the timeout I was so mad at Laettner for the stomp and ensuing T because that really seemed to fire up UK. A few seconds later he made me repent my thoughts and reminded me why I simply refered to him as "The Man".

What's so amazing about Laettner is when you look at his career, it's shocking he missed the shot at the end of the UNC game earlier that year.

Bob Green
03-28-2007, 03:42 PM
I was at sea aboard the USS Blue Ridge and listening to the game on the radio. Let me assure you the shot was every bit as exciting via radio as TV.

Bob Green
Yokosuka, Japan

03-28-2007, 03:50 PM
to a kentucky fan it was more like 28 March 1979 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Mile_Island_accident)... happened in the same state, too

03-28-2007, 04:08 PM
I was there at the Spectrum - sitting about 15 rows from the court

So was I, with my father. Except a few rows closer behind the basket, and behind Leslie Visser whose irritating 'reports' kept us from seeing the action time and time again. However, at the time of the shot, we had left our seats and were standing in one of the entryways (with a much better angle). We were despondent and then two seconds later, were hugging strangers in the aisle.

We rode to the game on the plane with the UK cheerleaders and mascot, (who helped the steward give the safety presentation) and 99% UK fans. What a pleasant ride back. Had it turned out otherwise, I think we might have rented a car...

03-28-2007, 04:08 PM
Almost as great as remembering "The Shot" is reminiscing about it through the experiences of others, sort of the stories within the story. I'll probably screw up the details but there's an exchange in one of the books written on that season, maybe it was Brill's "Back to Back", between Mark Alarie, then with the Wizards and Gminski who I think was with the Hornets at the time. I believe Alarie told Gminiski during a time-out that "one of their guards hit a shot", and that Duke was on the verge of losing. With play underway and G-man on the court, the PA annoucer gave the final score, 104-103 and G-man raised both arms in victory as he trotted down the court. Great moment for Dukies.

03-28-2007, 04:16 PM
I was 5 at the time of the shot and had been put to bed by the start of the second half, but a friend's Dad has a pretty classic story that I think I'll share.

He was at the game in person (he's from Cherry Hill,NJ) with a friend. After Woods hit the bank shot, his friend was cursing a storm about how the season was lost and how much bulls*** it was that we were losing on that kind of shot. He then turns to his friend and says, "Sit the **** down, the game's not over, Laettner's hit big shots before"

The rest was history.

Tom B.
03-28-2007, 04:18 PM
OK, something's been bugging me for awhile, and I want to know the answer enough that I'll risk the scorn of others here for not already knowing. Who is it that falls down under the basket after the shot goes through? Is it Brian Davis? I just don't remember who was number 21 on that team, sorry. I think I see Brian Davis in another shot with his warm-up on, so who falls down?

That was Lang -- and yes, Brian Davis can be seen in the celebratory mosh pit with his warm-up on. He was on the bench because he'd fouled out of the game.

I believe Davis' fifth foul was a charging foul, though I can't recall if it was late in regulation or in the overtime. All I remember is that when he fouled out, I immediately had a flashback to the previous year's national semifinal. With UNLV nursing a slim lead over Duke late in the game, UNLV's point guard Greg Anthony fouled out on a charging foul. That ended up being crucial -- although UNLV went up by five shortly after that play, Duke rallied and took a two point lead. On their last possession, when UNLV needed its point guard the most, he was on the bench and all they could muster was a hurried, off-balance shot from 23 feet away as time expired.

(As an aside, if you ever get a chance, go back and watch that last play in the UNLV game. While Duke's defense on the perimeter is excellent, whoever was responsible for guarding Stacey Augmon lost him and he was all alone under the basket when Anderson Hunt took the last shot. We're lucky that Hunt didn't shoot an air ball, because if he did, Augmon would've been on the receiving end of Whittenburg-to-Charles II, and the game would've gone to overtime.)

When Davis fouled out of the Kentucky game, I sensed an eerie parallel to that UNLV game. As Kentucky fought back and took the lead, I felt like I was reading the same script as the year before -- only this time we were the favorite trying to hold off the upstart underdog that was playing the game of its life, and it was our senior leader who fouled out on a charging foul late in the game, possibly shifting the momentum just enough to let the underdog eke out an unexpected win.

And then, well, we all know what happened next.

mr. synellinden
03-28-2007, 04:28 PM
One of the best pieces of sportwriting I've ever read is a Sports Illustrated story about the Duke-Kentucky game (I believe written by Alexander Wolff) that interlaces details of the game with stories about former Duke and Kentucky players watching/listening to/hearing about the game. It references the Gminski story. I'd love to copy the whole story here but I know it's not allowed. Here's an excerpt with the Gminski portion:

Where were you when the shot went in? ...

Warren Miller was in Durham, N.C., in the Duke athletic office, watching the NCAA Fast Regional final on a big-screen TV. As the school's assistant sports information director, Miller would have had to hold back his partisanship if he had been sitting courtside in Philadelphia when Christian Laettner sank the shot. But here Miller could let out a scream. He ran out the office door and through the mild spring night to Cameron Indoor Stadium. In the darkness he knelt down at midcourt and kissed the center circle.

Some 300 people were at Bravo Pitino in Lexington, Ky., watching on a dozen TV sets arrayed around the restaurant owned by Rick Pitino, the Kentucky coach. Moments earlier a shot by the Wildcats' Sean Woods had given Kentucky a 103-102 lead with 2.2 seconds left in overtime and touched off such joyful screaming and clambering up on tables that many patrons didn't see Laettner's shot, much less the 75-foot pass from Grant Hill that preceded it. When they realized what had happened, when replays dashed hopes that the basket had come too late, silence swallowed up the crowd. Then came low moans, then tears. People wandered out to the street, dazed. One woman felt so dizzy that she had to be helped from the premises.

Mike Gminski and Mark Alarie were in Landover, Md., where fans with portable TVs had been relaying details from the game to the two former Duke stars as they sat the benches of their respective NBA teams--Gminski, rarely used but in uniform, with the Charlotte Hornets; Alarie, injured and in mufti, with the Washington Bullets. Not long after the Duke-Kentucky overtime began in Philadelphia, Gminski was sent into the game at the Capital Centre, and soon after that the crowd there issued a shout that bore no correspondence to the action at hand. "I think it's over," Alarie called out to Gminski during the lineup for a foul shot in front of the Bullets' bench. "One of their guards just hit a shot." Moments later came another shout. As Charlotte moved upcourt on offense, the Cap Centre's message board flashed the news of Duke's 104-103 victory. Without breaking stride, Gminski thrust two fists in the air.

If anyone wants the full article (which really is outstanding), email me and I will send it to you.

03-28-2007, 04:30 PM
I still remember when that kid from Kentucky went in and hit that lay up thinking..."oh well, at least Duke won it last year" and had already decided to come to terms with a tough loss in a great game. Before my resolve was fully formed, Laettner sinks the shot and my parents heard AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH HHH!!!!!!! MYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOODDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!! throughout the house. It was great. I went to high school with a big Kentucky fan and when he saw me the next day he just shook is head. I didn't even talk smack to him (like your typical high schooler). We just agreed it was a classic and anything else would have been a disservice to both teams.

03-28-2007, 04:32 PM
I was at home on maternity leave with my first child. My husband and I watched the game on television. I'll never forget that game as long as I live.

When our second child was born, we named him "Christian," in honor of "The Shot."


mr. synellinden
03-28-2007, 04:37 PM
I believe Davis' fifth foul was a charging foul, though I can't recall if it was late in regulation or in the overtime. .

The SI article says it occurred during OT - right at the beginning, after Pelphrey hit a 3 for the first score of OT (he also took the charge).

03-28-2007, 04:41 PM
I was in the old Satisfactions with a group of about 20 people (Sats was packed, of course). We had been there since about 2 p.m. - having sat through the earlier game (Indiana-UCLA, I think)...we had consumed more than a few pitchers of beer.

I remember the game being just amazing, with each team fighting off the other.

When Kentucky hit the shot, I just fell back in my chair, and a good friend of mine and I just stared at each other in disbelief. He said to me, "Well, it was an amazing season, no matter what," and I just couldn't even talk.

Then when Laettner caught the ball, all I thought about was the clock, and that is all I looked at. When the ball left his hand, I knew that if it went in it counted. After it fell through, my buddy jumped up and it caught me off guard and we fell into the table which then collapsed sending beer and glasses everywhere (ours was not the only table where this happened.). Sats was literally going nuts. There were people jumping up and down on the bar - everyone was hugging everyone. It was just awesome.

As I write all of this, I'm looking up at my office wall, and there in front of me is the framed photo of the ball as it is just leaving Laettner's hand. The scoreboard says Kentucky 103 Duke 102 and there is 0.02 seconds on the clock.


03-28-2007, 04:48 PM
The next day during coverage of the Sunday regional finals on CBS, and the only time I ever like Brent Musburger, they showed footage of the reaction to The Shot from the Hideaway and Musburger remarked, "It must have been great to be from Duke last night."

(I wasn't in The Spectrum but I was in the Meadowlands for Henderson dunking on Mourning.)

LANG! Duh. Dang, I'm getting old. I better watch that rebroadcast tonight.

03-28-2007, 04:54 PM
I was in the front row underneath the Kentucky basket. I had gotten my seats from an uncle who rep'd Gatorade at local supermarkets. Yeah, the Gatorade rep got gooood seats.

When Grant Hill rears back to throw the pass, he almost stepped on my foot. I am serious. I had to lean to the side a bit because Grant was blocking my view of the play.

I was hoarse for days from cheering at that game. The energy in the arena was unreal.

-Jason "almost as good as the seats I had in Cameron ;) " Evans

03-28-2007, 04:58 PM
I was lucky enough to be in the Spectrum that night. I was sitting near the end where Ford's shot went in, right in the middle of a group of Kentucky fans. The overall crowd seemed fairly evenly split between the two teams. Half the crowd went nuts when Ford's shot dropped. The better half :) went nuts 2.3 seconds later. I still remember yelling to Laettner "shot it, shot it." I guess he knew what he was doing. What a game.

Uncle Drew
03-28-2007, 05:12 PM
I was in Chapel Hill at Kingswood apartments watching the game among a group of UNC fans. Ohio State had already knocked the heels out yet they all sat glued to the TV rooting for UK. When Kentucky hit their shot I honestly felt like someone in my family had been shot. Every game from that year when flying through my mind kind of like my life was flashing before my eyes. I'll never forget a female UNC friend saying, "I'm glad Duke lost, one and done, back to the basement where you belong". I've never advocated violence against women, but would a judge have convicted me for just one slap? Anyway, for whatever reason I sat there waiting for the end to come. I really felt they had zero chance of even sending the game to OT much the less winning. When Christian actually caught the pass from Hill (I'm getting chills just typing this.) I said, "oh sh&*! The room was totally silent and it seemed like his fake to the right, turn to the left and shot took a freakin' hour. When the ball went through the hoop I'll never forget (I think it was Brian Davis) falling in the floor and the expression on Thomas Hills face. I was running from room to room jumping on the bed screaming at the top of my lungs. I ran outside screaming, "go Duke" and enough anti-UNC expletives to make a sailor blush. I could hear people in their apartments screaming, "fu&^ you"! And all I could do was laugh out loud, knowing there was nothing anyone could do to change the outcome. The more time passes the more amazing that game becomes. It has to sting UK fans seeing that shot EVERY NCAA tourney. And judging from Laettners reception earlier this year by the non-Duke fans it still pains them to remember it too.

03-28-2007, 05:24 PM
My wife and I had to go out to dinner with a business client but taped the game. When I got home I asked my wife to go upstairs to the den and rewind the tape (the game should have been long over by then) and turn off the TV so that I wouldn't inadvertently hear some sports reporter talk about the game while I was getting ready to watch.

She came back down immediately and said "It's not over." I said "it must be in overtime!" She was so excited she wanted to go up and see the end. I wanted to see the whole thing, so she volunteered to watch the end and rewind the tape for me." I paced at the bottom of the steps for what seemed an eternity hearing her yell every few seconds: "WOW! Oh My God!" WOW!" "OH NO!!!" "YOW!" "Oh My God!!"

Eventually the yelling stopped and after about five minutes (rewinding the tape) she came downstairs and said over and over "You won't believe it! You just won't believe it!"

So I knew it was big. By her excitement I assumed --hoped and hoped -- that we'd won, but she wouldn't say. Just kept saying "You won't believe it!"

I watched every minute and it took into early in the a.m. I never watched a game with such a feeling of excitement and dread as it got closer and closer to what I knew was going to be an unbelievable ending. To this day I can still her screaming from the upstairs "Oh my God!" And that's how I think of the game. It was the "Oh My God!" game. Coulda been yesterday.

Tom B.
03-28-2007, 05:42 PM
It's amazing the range of thoughts and emotions that I went through in the few seconds that it took the ball to go from Grant to Christian to the basket. It was something like:

Oh my god I can't believe we're going to lose this game there's just no way we can score that's it the season's over might as well watch these last seconds 'cause this is the last time I'll ever see this team on the court wow they're really not gonna guard inbounds man? OK here's the desperation heave no way anyone will catch that 'cause Kentucky's just gonna knock it away and time will run out but hey Laettner caught it OK maybe he can get a shot off No Christian No! What are you doing don't dribble you're going to run out of time where's the clock you're taking too long is there any time left for God's sake Christian shoot please SHOOOOOOOOOOOOOT.... OH MY GOD IT WENT IN BUT WAS IT IN TIME DID IT COUNT DID IT COUNT DID IT COUNT GET OUT OF THE WAY I CAN'T SEE THE TV WHERE IS THE STUPID REF SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME IF IT COUNTED YES!!!!! IT COUNTS!!!!! AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!

03-28-2007, 05:51 PM
I've been a Duke fan for 6 years now, and I've always wondered...

I was born on 12-9-92. The shot was hit 3-28-92. I truly hope that I was conceived on that night. My parents weren't Duke fans either, so I guess you could call it destiny...

Ah, I love those games. I'd rather have them 100% of the times, instead of blowouts. As long as Duke wins though.

03-28-2007, 06:28 PM
I was on my couch at my parents' place at age 16, with a 103 degree fever watching the game with my dad. When Duke went way ahead, I remember sitting there trying to will the clock down. Mashburn's three point play late strikes me as particularly painful in my memory. Even then, I was yelling at refs as I didn't think he was fouled.

As soon as Laettner caught it, I remember jumping to my feet. When it went through, I remember waiting to see if they would call it off-one of the Kentucky players was waving it off. Once I knew it was good, I remember running laps around the house yelling and my dad didn't even try to stop me. As my folks didn't have cable then, I remember staying up until very late to watch every conceivable highlight and recap.

Most enjoyable sick weekend of my life. I'll never forget it. LGD.


03-28-2007, 07:05 PM
1. This thread rocks. I love hearing other peoples' stories about The Shot.

2. Those stories are all better than mine, which is boring, but I remember every detail of watching that game so I have to write it out compulsively anyway. I was a high school senior and already committed to matriculating. Was a huge fan of Laettner's, to the point of having the same haircut. Had just gotten home that day from Spring Break skiing in Colorado with my buddies, but the trip had a sour ending so I was a little down. My family wasn't home so I was watching alone. I had a little foam, nerf-like basketball that for some reason I brought into the living room with me, and as the game got tighter and tighter, I started playing catch with the wall as a nervous habit. I wore the Duke sweatshirt I had gotten on campus the previous fall, which is the only Duke sweatshirt I ever owned, and I still have it. I stood the last 10 minutes and the overtime, and paced constantly during breaks in the action, bouncing the ball off the wall as I did. When they hit a 3 to open the overtime, I collapsed on the couch. When Woods banked in his shot I swore a blue streak about what a cheap way it was to win on such a ridiculously lucky shot and threw the ball so hard I hurt my arm and just missed hitting a picture frame which surely would have broken. When The Shot went in I ran out of the room whooping, ran all the way to the back of the house, up the stairs, through the front hall and back down the other stairs to the TV again, never stopping the yelling. Completely unconsciously. I had no idea what I was doing.

I could never get tired of watching that clip. Ever. Greatest sports moment I've ever seen on television. I only wish I could have been there.

3. I feel old.

03-29-2007, 11:08 AM
I enjoyed reading this thread, but for some reason it made me really hungry.

Chicago 1995
03-29-2007, 12:12 PM
On campus. Watched both the IU-UCLA game and the Duke-Kentucky game in the commons at my fraternity with probably 40 or 50 other people.

The thing I remember most from that night is that even with the outpouring of anger and emotion when Woods shot went in, no one left.

Everyone stuck around. I think, even as grim as things seemed during the timeout, everyone believed. Everyone thought that just maybe Christian had one more bullet for Kentucky.


03-29-2007, 07:11 PM
You can see it in the left corner of the frame after the shot. It is like he is saying "damn right.... we drew up that play, knew it would work and it did!" Classic Coach K .... determination, resolve, hutzpah, guts, triumph and just a touch of arrogance.

03-29-2007, 08:19 PM
Take a look at my avatar. :)

I had the 2-page, color spread of "The Shot (http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/photocredit/achievers/krz0-047)" from the next-day's Herald-Sun on my wall from March 29, 1992 to August of 1997, when I left for college (the 5-year old newsprint/masking tape combo didn't hold up too well when I tried to take it down).

My story isn't that exciting -- I was 12, watching the game with my father. Though we were watching the game on WRAL, we had the sound (Jim Nance/Billy Packer, IIRC) muted, and had the stereo tuned to 620 so that we could hear Bob Harris on the play-by-play. I remember pacing through the whole overtime, my father trying to get me to sit down. When Woods hit his bank shot, with 2.3 to go, I fell to my knees. I didn't actually see the beginning of the play (Grant's pass), but the image of Laettner dribbling, turning and the shot going through the hoop is etched in my mind. I think my father and I both were screaming for 2-3 minutes; my mother ran downstairs thinking something was horribly wrong.

Bobby Hurley down the floor with Laettner. Grant Hill to inbound it. Hill throws it the length of the floor to Laettner... He catches, comes down, dribbles... Shoots? Scores! Christian Laettner has hit the bucket at the buzzer! The Blue Devils win it 104 to 103. Look out Minneapolis! Here come the Blue Devils!