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lifelongdevil
11-18-2008, 12:50 PM
I read the dreaded UCONN 1999 in another thread and got to thinking about the best and worst of experiences.

For me that 1999 title game is still the most painful and probably the 2001 national semi final(22 down to win against maryland) is the other end. I think if I was older, Vegas 91 might top the list.

smackedownz
11-18-2008, 01:00 PM
I would say being 20 years old now, the 1999 final against uconn was the most upset i have ever been. That team was the best, much better than UConn.

On the other end, the 2001 final against arizona was my favorite, as it was the first championship for duke that i had witnessed happen.

Ignatius07
11-18-2008, 01:02 PM
What a masochistic exercise - but I'd put the 2004 Final Four loss above the 1999 loss, just because I was more emotionally invested in that team. Plus, my favorite players from the '99 team - Battier - ended up getting a national title anyway. I really wish that Redick and Williams, both of whom invested so much in Duke, had gotten a title.

There are many more memorable wins than heartbreaking losses, though certainly the two wins against Maryland in 2001 (at Maryland and in the Final Four) are up there, as is the 2004 game at UNC. In terms of the last few years, the win last year at UNC was memorable to me as well.

Rudy
11-18-2008, 01:08 PM
I've only been a big fan over the past 5 years or so, just a detached admirer before that. So, the games that fit these categories are more recent for me.

Most heartbreaking? Loss to LSU in the tournament in '06. JJ going 3 for 16 and the refs swallowing their whistles.

Most amazing? For me Sean Dockery's half court shot to beat Va Tech, also '05-'06 season http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UacK_m81KaI

But consensus has to be March 28, 1992: Laettner's turn around shot in OT against Kentucky in the regional final. Here's a description of the game and moment: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/espn25/story?page=moments/17

And here's the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AY-iq58_oz4

Ders24
11-18-2008, 01:16 PM
Shortly after I got accepted to Duke was the 2005 win against Carolina. Amazing.

EarlJam
11-18-2008, 01:17 PM
Most Devestating Loss: (three-way tie: Duke/Louisville '86 title game; UConn/Duke '99 Title game; UConn/Duke 2004, the latter being probably the hardest).

Greatest win? Easy. UNLV '91


-EJ

hurleyfor3
11-18-2008, 01:19 PM
Loss to LSU in the tournament in '06. JJ going 3 for 16

JJ was 3 for eighteen in that game.

sagegrouse
11-18-2008, 01:23 PM
JJ was 3 for eighteen in that game.

Yeah and JJ got no help from Paulus or anyone else, who were left open when LSU threw everything at JJ. This was a team loss.

sagegrouse

gw67
11-18-2008, 01:25 PM
EarlJam and I think alike in this instance.

Worst loss - 1986 to Louisville in final. The Dawkins/Alarie/Amaker team may have been my favorite and they were the best team in the country for the entire season.

Best win - Beating Tark's Las Vegas team in semi finals in 1991. They were the ultimate bad guys and Laettner, Hurley and Hill came through although very few gave them a chance.

gw67

EarlJam
11-18-2008, 01:28 PM
EarlJam and I think alike in this instance.

Best win - Beating Tark's Las Vegas team in semi finals in 1991. They were the ultimate bad guys and Laettner, Hurley and Hill came through although very few gave them a chance.

gw67

Agreed, and I DO have to add Duke/UK '92 to the "most amazing win" bucket. I mean, my goodness. That's the only game that made me cry and hug and kiss and old man on his face.

-EarlJam

Kedsy
11-18-2008, 01:33 PM
There are many more memorable wins than heartbreaking losses...

MANY more memorable wins, which is a very happy thought. I've been to every Final Four since 1989 (except 2005, but can you blame me?) and a good number of Regional semifinals and finals plus at least a dozen ACC tournaments, so I've attended most of the games being bandied about in this thread. As far as Final Four losses, for some reason the semifinal losses (e.g., 1989 to Seton Hall, 2004 to UConn) seemed to sting more than the final game losses (1990, 1994, 1999). At least that's how it felt to me. Although the 1986 loss (which I watched on TV) stuck in my craw for awhile.

Of course I loved all our championships. But the 1991 win over UNLV stands out head and shoulders above the rest for me. Even moreso than the 1992 win over Kentucky. It just seemed in the UNLV game that if we made even a single tiny error, the battle would be lost. And that tension was in the arena from the opening tap all the way to the final buzzer. I occasionally watch a tape of the game and I'm still afraid we're going to lose.

From my student days, the 1 point win in the 1980 ACC championship game over Maryland stands out, along with the "7-0" game in 1979 and the Gene Banks game in 1981.

BuschDevil
11-18-2008, 01:36 PM
Most painful loss for me:
Duke/Louisville '86; UConn/Duke '99; UConn/Duke 2004; & I'll have to add Duke/Kenticky '78 + Duke/Arkansas '94.

Most amazing win for me:
Duke/UNLV '91; Duke/Kentucky '92; every nat'l title win; & every time we ever beat carolina! GTHC!

cato
11-18-2008, 01:37 PM
'94 finals loss should be added to the bad column. Also, the '90 loss was quite sickening (lame pun intended) at the time, but was redeemed to a great degree by the '91 win over UNLV.

hq2
11-18-2008, 02:15 PM
Best win: beating Carolina in '84 when they were unbeaten, ranked number one in the country and had Michael Jordan, Sam Perkins, Brad Daugherty, Joe Wolf and Kenny Smith on the same team.

Worst loss: 8 points and 17 seconds, to Carolina. 34 years later, it still seems as incredible as it was then.

jimsumner
11-18-2008, 02:19 PM
"Best win: beating Carolina in '84 when they were unbeaten, ranked number one in the country "

Minor correction. UNC was not undefeated. But Dawkins, Alarie, et.al. all regard that has a huge win in the development of the program.

rasputin
11-18-2008, 02:40 PM
For me, best win has to be Kentucky in the '92 regional final. Honorable mention would be UNLV in '91 and the final against Arizona in '01 (the only final I've attended).

Toughest loss at the time would have to be Louisville in '86. Keep in mind that the '78 team had overachieved, sure, but it made the tournament final with a very young team. You figured in '78, yeah, we lost, but we'll be back. But those guys were never back. So with the team in '86 losing that final, you wondered, will we ever get back? With the makeup of the '86 team, it was a doubtful question. That made the '86 loss hurt more.

Of course, history proved otherwise and pretty soon we were going to FF's regularly.

throatybeard
11-18-2008, 02:49 PM
"Best win: beating Carolina in '84 when they were unbeaten, ranked number one in the country "

Minor correction. UNC was not undefeated. But Dawkins, Alarie, et.al. all regard that has a huge win in the development of the program.

They had lost at Arkansas, right?

OZZIE4DUKE
11-18-2008, 02:59 PM
Worst loss: 1986 final vs. Louisville. Second worst loss: 8 points in 17 seconds.

Best win: 1992 vs. Kentucky - Laettner's shot. Beating UNLV in 1991 is a very close second. Beating carolina any and everytime is next. When we beat carolina for the National Championship, then that will be the best win ... ever.

Best loss ever: 1978 final vs. Kentucky. We weren't supposed to be there, we'd beaten Notre Dame in the semifinal game (take that, Digger!), and we were oh so young. We KNEW that "we'll be back!" the next year and so we chanted that day in St. Louis. We were disappointed we'd lost, but we felt so good about being there because the future was so bright, we had to wear shades. :cool:

This was my 2001st post. My National Champs post! And I forgot to look at the banner before I posted again. Darn it. So I went and deleted my next post (thank you "edit post") and got the status back! Who says you can't go back in time :D

juise
11-18-2008, 03:15 PM
The 2004 Final Four was my senior year and I made the trip to San Antonio. We had amazing seats in the student section to witness the carnage. My friend's aunt lived in Houston and offered us a car to drive, so we had a truly depressing drive home that evening. The rude UCONN fans (along with their sea of "Duck Fuke" shirts) made the weekend all the more magical.


The 2001 NCAA semifinal (my freshman year) was almost miraculous. Watching it on the big screen in Cameron was a great experience, as we cheered our classmate (Duhon) back from a hard fall. The gone in 54 seconds game earlier that year wasn't bad either... just not as meaningful.

dukelifer
11-18-2008, 03:23 PM
Amazing Wins: Duke/Kentucky 1992, Duke/UNC 1981, Duke/UNLV 1991, Duke/Maryland 2001 (twice), Duke/UConn, 1990

Painful Losses:Duke/Kentucky 1978, Duke/Louisville 1986, Duke/Arkansas 1994, Duke/UConn 1999

BlueintheFace
11-18-2008, 03:23 PM
The 2004 Final Four was my senior year and I made the trip to San Antonio. We had amazing seats in the student section to witness the carnage. My friend's aunt lived in Houston and offered us a car to drive, so we had a truly depressing drive home that evening. The rude UCONN fans (along with their sea of "Duck Fuke" shirts) made the weekend all the more magical.


The 2001 NCAA semifinal (my freshman year) was almost miraculous. Watching it on the big screen in Cameron was a great experience, as we cheered our classmate (Duhon) back from a hard fall. The gone in 54 seconds game earlier that year wasn't bad either... just not as meaningful.

... still don't know how a foul wasn't called...

Kedsy
11-18-2008, 03:24 PM
Toughest loss at the time would have to be Louisville in '86. Keep in mind that the '78 team had overachieved, sure, but it made the tournament final with a very young team. You figured in '78, yeah, we lost, but we'll be back. But those guys were never back. So with the team in '86 losing that final, you wondered, will we ever get back? With the makeup of the '86 team, it was a doubtful question. That made the '86 loss hurt more.

Of course, history proved otherwise and pretty soon we were going to FF's regularly.

I remember thinking the exact same thing after the '86 loss. Shows how wrong one can be.

I was a freshman the September after the '78 Final Four run. Everyone on campus was sure we'd be going back. Until we lost two games in two days to vastly inferior teams at Madison Square Garden over Christmas. Come to think of it, those were pretty painful losses. As was losing to bottom-seeded St. Johns in the first round of the NCAA tournament, in Raleigh, immediately after Penn upset UNC (which appeared to leave us a clear path to the Final Four). Wow, hadn't thought about that in awhile.

4decadedukie
11-18-2008, 03:26 PM
Loss: UConn/Duke 2004 Final Four in San Antonio (I had floor seats and will never forget either the officiating or the UConn fans' scurrilous comportment).

Win: Duke/Maryland 2001 Miracle Minute in College Park (Shane and Jason illustrate why the 2001 National Championship Banner hangs in Cameron).

JDev
11-18-2008, 03:48 PM
Win: Lots of good ones, but '91 UNLV and '92 UK were epic and helped put rings on fingers

Loss: '04 semis vs. UCONN lot of poor calls made it hard to swallow, and that was probably the most recent really great Duke team (they were better than Redick and Williams senior year in 06, and any other team since, but hopefully that is changing as we speak!)

DevilCastDownfromDurham
11-18-2008, 03:58 PM
Several folks have already hit the major wins (UNLV, KY) in my lifetime, but I wanted to give some love for an underappreciated win: at UNC in 2001. After the loss to UMd and Boozer's broken foot everyone I knew was certain that the season was over. UNC was poised to win the ACC, grab the #1 seed in the East and ride Forte to glory. We all know the story about K's "we'll win the championship" speech, but no one outside of the locker room knew what was to come. In fact, I was on Carolina's campus for that game (and the BS Battier-Brenda foul earlier at Cameron) and I heard it non-stop from seemingly every UNC fan in Chapel Hill.

Simply put, we came in, went toe-to-toe with #1 ranked UNC, and beat them. Completely. We disrupted their offense and forced them to bench all their big post guys. Our speed totally negated all of their advantages and we simply bent that game to our style.

For me, watching Battier chase down Forte for that incredible block epitomized that team, that season and what I love about Duke. We were beaten and UNC was coasting to victory when, through sheer will and determination, we came back and took it from them. On that day heart and effort beat lazy, complacent talent.

We went on to win the ACC, secure the #1 seed, and ride K's genius, Jason's otherworldly talent, and Shane's incomparable leadership and grit (as well as Mike's very timely 3's...) to a title. UNC started fighting, fell apart and went on to the delicious 2002 meltdown. For a Duke fan surrounded by Tar Heels that was truly the golden age. And it all began with that game.


For losses, NCAA games where beloved seniors go out on a low note are the worst for me. 2004 is right up there since Duhon did everything he could to carry that team (his buzzer-beater should be remembered as one of the all-time great shots but for Okafor's striped-shirt guardian angels). 1994 was also tough, but the awareness that we had totally overachived softened the blow a lot.

If I had to pick one, it might be LSU 2006. That was the only game I've ever seen where Duke looked completely helpless and completely defeated. Other than Shel's heroics we could do nothing right. The final nail was watching the team actually gave up in a way I've never seen before or since. In the last few minutes, and despite the lead not being overwhelming, we just quit. The total opposite of Shane's never-say-die attitude in '01 that made me so proud.

juise
11-18-2008, 04:42 PM
... still don't know how a foul wasn't called...

When you use those words, I can't help but think of my second most painful loss. 2002 Sweet 16... Boozer hacked across the arm after J-Will missed the potentially tying free throw. What a roller coaster. I want to cry.

Richard Berg
11-18-2008, 04:46 PM
Best win: 2001 FF vs Maryland.

Worst loss: 2006 women to Maryland. (can you tell I don't like them?) I was already pretty depressed by the LSU game -- at the untimely end of JJ/Shel/Dock/Melch's careers, sure, but mostly by how we gave up. Anyway, after so many close calls in the Tournament, I was certain this would finally be the year that Gail got over the hump and redeemed herself and the university. We had it. We totally had it. And then it was gone.

DukeCO2009
11-18-2008, 04:51 PM
Best wins:

2001 National Semifinal against Maryland. Self explanatory.

2001 against Maryland at Cole Field House. See above.

2003 ACC Championship against State. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. J.J. Redick. This was the first game that he truly dominated. Had 23 points in the final 10:05 to lead a comeback win. Some of his shots were unreal--stepbacks from 28 with two guys in his face, etc. I knew he was good--great even--but this was the first game that I thought to myself, "WOW! This guy is going to be a special, once-in-a-blue-moon type player". Awesome.

Worst Losses:

1999 National Championship against UConn. I'll believe until the day I day that Trajan would have made the buzzer-beater if he weren't tripped.

2002 Regional Final against Indiana. To have something so miraculous as a four point chance happen and then to blow it--both the foul shot and the tip for the winner--was agonizing. We should have gone back to back.

2006 against LSU--sad to see JJ and Shelden go. Two of my favorites.

DukeUsul
11-18-2008, 05:04 PM
Worst loss: 1999 final. Standing there, 20 feet from the floor in the band section, I could see the whites in Trajan's eyes as he brought the ball up the court the last time. Having to sit there afterward and try to play Dear Old Duke while El-Amin ran around the court popping his shirt..... heartwrenching.

Best win: The Roshown McLeod layup comeback against UNC at Cameron in 1998. Best win over UNC I've seen in person.

_Gary
11-18-2008, 05:09 PM
Best Win: UNLV in '91 definitely tops the charts for me. It was such a cathartic experience after what happened the year before.

Worst Loss: Has to be the '99 title game. I've never, ever, ever been more sure of a championship in my life than I was that night. And unfortunately, I had never woofed as much about something before the game either. I probably am to blame for that loss as the gods definitely slammed me back down to earth. I still shudder just thinking about that game.


Gary

Edouble
11-18-2008, 05:13 PM
Most Painful Loss:

There will never be a more painful loss for me than the 1999 National Championship game.

Most Amazing Win:

I can't think of a more amazing win than at Cole in 2001. It's definitely not my favorite win, but if the determiner is the word "amazing", it's got to be that game. Even "the shot" against UK in '92 wasn't as amazing in my book. It was Laettner, so you knew we had a chance. But that Maryland game was pretty much over, and we did exactly what we had to do (play perfect basketball) for almost a full minute to get the W.

DukeUsul
11-18-2008, 05:16 PM
I think the 1999 game also qualifies for "worst group hangover ever." Imagine 30 band members who had been up all night drowning their sorrows, in the back of a plane, first thing in the morning, flying from Tampa back to RDU. That was a very long, very nasty flight.

sagegrouse
11-18-2008, 05:22 PM
Here's my list, based on games I have seen in person

Best wins:

1. Duke over Maryland, 2001 FF
2. Duke over Arizona, 2001 FF
3. Duke over UNC, 1961 Indoor Stadium (Art Heyman-Larry Brown set-to, but a great Duke win)
4. Duke over Villanova, 1964 Regional Final (Mullins was unconscious)
5. Duke over Arkansas, 1990 FF
6. Duke over NC State, ACC final in 2003 (freshman JJ went off the 2nd half)
7. Duke over UNC, ACC semis 1984 (win over Michael Jordan in his final ACC game)
8. Duke over UNC at CIS in 1998 (overcame 17 point deficit)

Worst losses:

1. UConn FF 1999
2. UConn FF 2004
3. UNLV FF 1990 (it was awful being there in person)
4. UNC at CIS 2001 (Battier foul on Heyward on last play)

Not too many others. We only lost one home game when I was an undergraduate (against State). Then, of course, I had season tickets my daughter's senior year at Duke, 1994-95. Aarrrggghhh!!!

sagegrouse

-jk
11-18-2008, 06:38 PM
Way too much history here.

Worst loss: '86. I came this close to fighting a cameraman in Dallas after the game. Wouldn't stop trying to point the damned thing at me. Second would be a tie between '78 and '99.

Best win? "Dennard and Banks, so long and thanks!" Senior day, '81. My ears rang for hours. I think the band was playing Devil, over and over, but I couldn't hear it. From the replays, Perkins probably did have his (ridiculously long armed) fingers on the ball, theoretically negating Tink's shot. But, whatever. Deano had it coming after claiming an inbounds pass touched the scoreboard earlier.

Second best: 91, 92, or '01. Hard to argue with titles.

But as I said, way too much history. Tons of great games going both ways.

-jk

kmspeaks
11-18-2008, 07:05 PM
Most amazing win:
Would have to go with the two Duke wins that got me in trouble with my parents.

2001 at Maryland- When Nicholas missed the shot at the buzzer sending the game into OT I threw a shoe into the fluorescent light in my ceiling. Luckily it only put a hole in the cover and didn't actually break any of the lights.

2003 ACC Final- I got so excited after a JJ basket that I jumped up on the couch and knocked down all the laundry Mom was folding. I just looked at her and said, "He's from Roanoke (which is the city where I was born)." Needless to say that didn't make her any happier about all the clothes I knocked on the floor.

Most painful loss:

2006 vs LSU- Watching JJ walk off the court for the last time while being mercilously picked on by the Duke haters around me was too much.

chrishoke
11-18-2008, 07:18 PM
Way too much history here.

Worst loss: '86. I came this close to fighting a cameraman in Dallas after the game. Wouldn't stop trying to point the damned thing at me. Second would be a tie between '78 and '99.

Best win? "Dennard and Banks, so long and thanks!" Senior day, '81. My ears rang for hours. I think the band was playing Devil, over and over, but I couldn't hear it. From the replays, Perkins probably did have his (ridiculously long armed) fingers on the ball, theoretically negating Tink's shot. But, whatever. Deano had it coming after claiming an inbounds pass touched the scoreboard earlier.

Second best: 91, 92, or '01. Hard to argue with titles.

But as I said, way too much history. Tons of great games going both ways.

-jk

Here's another vote for the Banks/Dennard senior day. I actually fell to my knees to kiss the dirty Cameron floor after Gene made the shot - and you are right, I have never heard Cameron louder in my 50 years of season tickets.

chrishoke
11-18-2008, 07:31 PM
Here's my list, based on games I have seen in person

Best wins:

1. Duke over Maryland, 2001 FF
2. Duke over Arizona, 2001 FF
3. Duke over UNC, 1961 Indoor Stadium (Art Heyman-Larry Brown set-to, but a great Duke win)
4. Duke over Villanova, 1964 Regional Final (Mullins was unconscious)
5. Duke over Arkansas, 1990 FF
6. Duke over NC State, ACC final in 2003 (freshman JJ went off the 2nd half)
7. Duke over UNC, ACC semis 1984 (win over Michael Jordan in his final ACC game)
8. Duke over UNC at CIS in 1998 (overcame 17 point deficit)

Worst losses:

1. UConn FF 1999
2. UConn FF 2004
3. UNLV FF 1990 (it was awful being there in person)
4. UNC at CIS 2001 (Battier foul on Heyward on last play)

Not too many others. We only lost one home game when I was an undergraduate (against State). Then, of course, I had season tickets my daughter's senior year at Duke, 1994-95. Aarrrggghhh!!!

sagegrouse


Sage, I was at that 1964 Eastern Regional win over Villanovain Reynolds - Mullins could do no wrong, and if memory serves, even hit a half court shot at the end of the firts half.

heyman25
11-18-2008, 09:00 PM
Best wins UNLV 91 and Kentucky 92 Fred Lind's miracle game in Cameron(Duke Indoor Stadium) in 67 or 68 against Carolina. College Park 10 point comeback vs MD in 01; Arizona 01 Championship game


Worst losses 86 Louisville; 99 UCONN; 04 UCONN ;LSU 06 ;Indiana 02; JJ's last home game UNC; Shane's last home game UNC ;and the 8 pts in 17 seconds with Paul Fox and company. We kept passing it in to the wrong team that year. Also the Kentucky NCAA meltdown with McCleod I think 98

weezie
11-18-2008, 09:18 PM
This is a toughie...'06 was more bloody than '04 but both hurt pretty bad.

Best win......pounding the holes what, three times in 92? Leaving Greensboro in a haze of shhhh...b-e-e-r...?

rockymtn devil
11-18-2008, 09:29 PM
Worst Loss: 2004 FF to UCONN. The usual stuff--I was a senior and at the game. But, what made it much worse was that I could see it coming for the entire second half. That team had lost similar leads before then (@WF; Maryland in the ACC Title Game) and when both Shav and Shelden picked up 3 fouls in the first half while Okafor was sitting on the bench, I knew that game wasn't going to end well. We simply had no one to guard him down the stretch.

Best Win: The forgotten 2001 win over Maryland in the ACC Semifinal. Great back-and-forth all day ended with a tip in...or so we thought. Juan Dixon nearly hit a half-courter to win the game for the Terps.

Best Loss: Carolina at home in 2001. Still one of the--if not the--best sporting events I've ever been to. After Duhon missed a dunk in the 1st half the Heels went a run that gave them a comfortable lead. We battled all the way back and tied it on a Dunleavy 3 with 1.8 seconds left. I like to think the game ended at this point and that Battier didn't foul Haywood 20-feet from the basket. Nonetheless, great game.

DevilCastDownfromDurham
11-18-2008, 09:42 PM
Best win......pounding the holes what, three times in 92? Leaving Greensboro in a haze of shhhh...b-e-e-r...?

Sadly we lost to UNC in 1992 at the Dome (and Wake). (Hurley broke his foot). :(

In fact, I think (and Jim or someone can correct me) neither Duke nor UNC has won the NCAA's without losing to the other.

weezie
11-18-2008, 09:49 PM
Whoops, maybe the beer was a bit too much for me...was it 91 when we beat them 3x?
I just remember some kind of happiness way back when....

Kedsy
11-18-2008, 09:51 PM
Whoops, maybe the beer was a bit too much for me...was it 91 when we beat them 3x?
I just remember some kind of happiness way back when....

I'm pretty sure we did it in '88. We may have done it since, but it was definitely not '91.

OldPhiKap
11-18-2008, 09:54 PM
Painful loss: Louisville '86. On the Quad. And we had those !@#$ beat.


Joyous win: Besting Temple and Marc Macon in the mid-80's (I forget the year, but it was a beach weekend for a bunch of us).



I love the later championships, but those early K years were really special.

Grey Devil
11-18-2008, 09:58 PM
I'm sorry that there are so few people around this board who were able to experience the famous "Freddy Lind game" when Duke went to triple overtime to beat Carolina in 1968. I know that if everyone who ever reads or posts to this board had seen that game there would no longer be threads about "what is the best Duke win ever?" I can say that based on forty years of watching Duke basketball. Although there have been many, many great victories during that time, with a lot riding on those games, including three national championships, many ACC championships and other really intense victories (like a lot of victories over the Heels), I don't think I've seen one that yet matches the incredible Triple-OT win that Duke pulled off over then #2 ranked Carolina.

Unfortunately, there's no way to see that game again (that I know of). However, our very own Jim Sumner wrote a great story about it that is still available on the web. Check it out at: http://www.theacc.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/022108aac.html.

Oh yeah, our worst loss? Every loss is our worst loss -- until we win again, which being Duke almost always means the very next game!

Grey Devil

DevilCastDownfromDurham
11-18-2008, 10:03 PM
Joyous win: Besting Temple and Marc Macon in the mid-80's (I forget the year, but it was a beach weekend for a bunch of us).

Really good call. That's one of my first Duke memories. They seemed so unbeatable to my childhood imagination. Billy King became my hero after that game. (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=940DE1D71F31F934A15750C0A96E9482 60)

wilson
11-18-2008, 10:15 PM
Painful: 1999.
Amazing: 1992.
Need I say more?

heyman25
11-18-2008, 10:32 PM
2 other great wins Christian Laettner's buzzer beater against UCONN in the Eastern Regional and Robby West's buzzer beater against Carolina in the 74 or 75.

The Fred Lind show was an amazing moment at Cameron. And can't forget my namesake's 40 point 24 rebound game against Billy Cunningham and the heels in 63.

mapei
11-18-2008, 10:54 PM
The most painful to me was the loss to Indiana in 2002. The missed FTs still haunt me. Second worst was UConn 99. Or maybe the humiliation against UNLV in the 90 final. I'm lucky I was unable to see JJ go out like that against LSU - that was the beginning of the current string of early tourney exits versus lower seeded teams that now stands at 4, I think. It must have been horrible to watch.

Favorite win has to be the 2001 final.

Johnboy
11-18-2008, 11:26 PM
I read the dreaded UCONN 1999 in another thread and got to thinking about the best and worst of experiences.

For me that 1999 title game is still the most painful and probably the 2001 national semi final(22 down to win against maryland) is the other end. I think if I was older, Vegas 91 might top the list.

I AM older, and Vegas '91 tops the list, and Louisville '86 anchors the bottom.

The most thrilling game I've attended in person was on February 1, 1998 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carolina-Duke_rivalry) against you-know-who.

Johnboy
11-18-2008, 11:29 PM
Sadly we lost to UNC in 1992 at the Dome (and Wake). (Hurley broke his foot). :(

In fact, I think (and Jim or someone can correct me) neither Duke nor UNC has won the NCAA's without losing to the other.

From memory, UNC 1957 and UNC 1982. Duke hasn't done it, though.

CLT Devil
11-18-2008, 11:48 PM
Painful; 1998 v. Tarholes in the 'Dome - My one and last trip there. Antawn had about 33 points that night.

Happy - Beating them at home later that year...Brand's comeback game

Best win - Gone in XX seconds with J-Dubs providing a miracle against the Twerps.

Worst Loss - 2004 Final Four. When it came to Horvath as a last resort against Okafor, after leading the final few minutes I knew we were done. If only Michael Thompson had stayed around........seriously though, when you lose in the semis all you can do is sell your tix and find a good bar (Esquire Tavern) to drink away your sorrows.....darnit those smug Uconn fans!

wilson
11-18-2008, 11:49 PM
I've always had a soft spot for the '94 national semifinal against flarduh. In my estimation, that Duke team had little business coming within a gnat's [butt] of a third title in four years, but Grant Hill decided otherwise. That flarduh team was the classic tournament upstart, and gave us quite a game before we basically outclassed them down the stretch. Now, as for that year's title game (and Scotty bleepin' Thurman), well, I don't wanna talk about it.

Dr. Rosenrosen
11-19-2008, 12:01 AM
Best: Duke/Kentucky '92
Worst: Duke/Kentucky '98

rasputin
11-19-2008, 04:52 AM
I've always had a soft spot for the '94 national semifinal against flarduh. In my estimation, that Duke team had little business coming within a gnat's [butt] of a third title in four years, but Grant Hill decided otherwise. That flarduh team was the classic tournament upstart, and gave us quite a game before we basically outclassed them down the stretch. Now, as for that year's title game (and Scotty bleepin' Thurman), well, I don't wanna talk about it.

Wasn't that the game with the commercial with K and the Bud Light guy in the limo? Yes I am . ..

Bob Green
11-19-2008, 06:45 AM
The most painful loss: 1986 Championship Game against Louisville. I was 26 years old and sat on the floor in my San Diego apartment with tears running down my face as time expired. It was painful and I was hurting.

The most amazing win: 1968 triple OT win against Carolina the first week of March. That game was fantastic.

davekay1971
11-19-2008, 08:55 AM
UNLV 1990, UNLV 1991.

Runners up for painful loss:
UCONN 1999
KY 1998
Indiana 2002
ACC championship game 1991- 20 point loss to UNC (though the pain was certainly forgotten 3 weeks later)
UNC at Duke 1990 - just for me - hungover on tequila and watching Duke lose by about 20 in Cameron.

Runners up for great wins:
Nat championship 1991
Nat championship 1992
Nat championship 2001
ACC championship 2001 (watching Carolina simply quit on Doherty, and Dickie V calling them out on it)
Semifinal against Md 2001

Most painful wins (for me)
The J Will comeback against Md, because I TURNED THE GAME OFF WITH DUKE DOWN BY 10 AND 1 MINUTE LEFT IN REGULATION
The Best Game Ever (Duke-KY 1992), because I went into it expecting us to beat them easily, and the way they pushed us and pushed us and pushed us was agony.

wilson
11-19-2008, 10:00 AM
Wasn't that the game with the commercial with K and the Bud Light guy in the limo? Yes I am . ..

I'm not sure if it was or not, though I do remember the commercial of which you speak. It was definitely a great game, though.

Bluegrassdevil
11-19-2008, 10:28 AM
I started following Duke hardcore in 1986-1987.. and a few games stick out as the worst and best and for different reasons.

Most Painful Loss...

1. 1999 Duke/UConn game... No reason that we should not have won our third NC that night...enough said

2. ***3 WayTie***

a. Senior Night 2006 vs. UNC...My first and only game @ Cameron, watching one of my favorite Duke teams of all time....again, enough said.

b. 2004 Duke/UConn Final Four... As much as everyone says that the refs favor Duke, They cost us the game and NC IMO...

c. Duke/IU 2002 Sweet Sixteen.. Also in attendance in Rupp Arena (I live in KY) with very few Duke fans in attendance, I took the venom of all the Duke haters that night, and was sure that victory was ours...Boy was I wrong, and almost strung up!!


Most Amazing Wins..

1. 1992 Duke vs. Kentucky...And heres the pass to Laettner...Shoots...GOOOOOOD!!!!!!!! 104-103. Makes living in Kentucky tolerable for a Duke fan.

2. 1991 National Championship game vs. Kansas..Monkey off Ks back and beat Roy doing it...enough said.

3. 2004 Duke vs. UNC in Chapel Hill...Also in attendance, Duhon coast to coast for the win.. Sat 6 rows behind Carolina bench(with my brother who is a hardcore UNC fan) on Turn it blue night. I knew I would be on tv being that close to the bench, so stopped at Dukes bookstore before going to game and bought a bright yellow Duke sweatshirt. I can be seen throughout the game behind UNCs bench and love to watch the end of the game when Carolina has the last shot..when it rimmed out..I can be seen in the background going crazy!!! Wasn't sure I would make it out of there alive either.

4. 2005 Duke vs. Virginia Tech...Sean Dockery shocks the Hokies with a 40+ Buzzer beater.. My wife had just told me sorry for the loss, I had just gotten the words out of my mouth that "We beat Kentucky with about the same amount of time" and then witnessed a miracle.


Go Duke

Magnolia888
11-19-2008, 11:49 AM
Toughest loss at the time would have to be Louisville in '86. Keep in mind that the '78 team had overachieved, sure, but it made the tournament final with a very young team. You figured in '78, yeah, we lost, but we'll be back. But those guys were never back. So with the team in '86 losing that final, you wondered, will we ever get back? With the makeup of the '86 team, it was a doubtful question. That made the '86 loss hurt more.


I agree. The loss to Louisville in '86 was absolutely CRUSHING at the time.

I watched that game on the quad on the giant screen and cried my eyes out afterwards. That team was the BOMB. We were number 1 all season. We were supposed to win! And then we didn't. At the time, it seemed like the end of the world, that we'd never be back to the FF again, at least not anytime soon . . . of course we were wrong, thank goodness! :D

The other crushing losses would be to UNLV in 90 and Uconn in 99. Both heartbreaking but for different reasons. :(

Beating UNLV in '91 was the most satisfying win, helping to erase the humiliation from the previous year, but for sheer thrill, it's hard to beat the '92 Kentucky game.

bird
11-19-2008, 12:09 PM
Most Devestating Loss: (three-way tie: Duke/Louisville '86 title game; UConn/Duke '99 Title game; UConn/Duke 2004, the latter being probably the hardest).

Greatest win? Easy. UNLV '91


-EJ

100 percent agree on all points, except that I had a bonding problem with the '99 team and the loss did not sear into my memory like the other two.

JBDuke
11-19-2008, 12:46 PM
I'm sorry that there are so few people around this board who were able to experience the famous "Freddy Lind game" when Duke went to triple overtime to beat Carolina in 1968. I know that if everyone who ever reads or posts to this board had seen that game there would no longer be threads about "what is the best Duke win ever?" I can say that based on forty years of watching Duke basketball. Although there have been many, many great victories during that time, with a lot riding on those games, including three national championships, many ACC championships and other really intense victories (like a lot of victories over the Heels), I don't think I've seen one that yet matches the incredible Triple-OT win that Duke pulled off over then #2 ranked Carolina.

Unfortunately, there's no way to see that game again (that I know of). However, our very own Jim Sumner wrote a great story about it that is still available on the web. Check it out at: http://www.theacc.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/022108aac.html.

Oh yeah, our worst loss? Every loss is our worst loss -- until we win again, which being Duke almost always means the very next game!

Grey Devil

My Duke fandom doesn't extend back this far, but of all the games I've heard about and read about in Duke's history, this is the one I most wish I could have seen.

Indoor66
11-19-2008, 01:10 PM
I'm sorry that there are so few people around this board who were able to experience the famous "Freddy Lind game" when Duke went to triple overtime to beat Carolina in 1968. I know that if everyone who ever reads or posts to this board had seen that game there would no longer be threads about "what is the best Duke win ever?" I can say that based on forty years of watching Duke basketball. Although there have been many, many great victories during that time, with a lot riding on those games, including three national championships, many ACC championships and other really intense victories (like a lot of victories over the Heels), I don't think I've seen one that yet matches the incredible Triple-OT win that Duke pulled off over then #2 ranked Carolina.

Unfortunately, there's no way to see that game again (that I know of). However, our very own Jim Sumner wrote a great story about it that is still available on the web. Check it out at: http://www.theacc.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/022108aac.html.

Oh yeah, our worst loss? Every loss is our worst loss -- until we win again, which being Duke almost always means the very next game!

Grey Devil

I was at that game sitting in Sec 14. It was the most exciting moment I have ever experienced in sports. The crowd excitement was incredible. The noise, deafening. The exhilaration exhausting. It was a great experience and has never been equaled in my experience. That includes -'63, '64, '66, '78, '91, '92 or '01!

ice-9
11-19-2008, 02:05 PM
I was a freshman for the '99 game and wasn't that into college hoops at the time so the loss didn't pain me that much. Plus I had an interview with Capital One the next day for a summer internship (which I got!) so I wasn't on campus around other depressed Dukies.

The most painful loss has to be in 2002 against Indiana in the Sweet Sixteen. By that time I was firmly a fan -- not only that, but JWill was one of my favorite players and I really wanted him to succeed. To see him forgo a top 3 draft pick just to lose in the Sweet Sixteen by missing a free throw... It was tragic. The Boozer non-call was just rubbing salt into wound.

Best win in terms of pure happiness has to be the Maryland miracle minute. I was the only guy in my commons room who kept watching the game; everyone else had left. But when JWill started stealing and swishing 3s I knew something amazing was gonna happen. I was jumping around and screaming at the TV like a madman which brought everyone back. The partying after was unbelievable... You just knew that season was going to be special.

hurleyfor3
11-19-2008, 02:21 PM
Unfortunately, there's no way to see that game [1968 vs. UNC] again (that I know of).

The University Archives might have it on film. They have everything the coaching staff filmed back to at least the early 70s, although perhaps the film wasn't saved under Bubas. Of course it would be a single camera at center court with no sound.

And if our archives don't have it I'd check unc's. I'd have to believe Deano saved everything.

GrayHare
11-19-2008, 04:10 PM
On the women's side...

Best

2004 vs Connecticut, Hartford Civic Center
Duke overcame an 11-point deficit in the final two minutes to win on a last-second 3-point shot by Jessica Foley.

1999 vs Tennessee, NCAA Regional, Greensboro Coliseum
Duke's debut as a national power.

1995 vs UNC, Cameron
UNC entered as the undefeated defending national champion. They left as simply the defending national champion courtesy of a last-second shot by Ali Day that bounced on the rim at least twice after the buzzer. There's a photo of the shot on the second floor of Cameron.

Worst

2006 vs Maryland, NCAA Championship
Enough said.

1999 vs Purdue, NCAA Championship
Both teams played poorly in the first half, but Purdue got it together in the second half.

1995 vs Alabama, NCAA 2nd Round, Tuscaloosa
Kira Orr was blocked on what should have been the winning shot at the end of regulation, but the official called it a charge. The result was Alabama 121 - Duke 120 in 4OT.

Tappan Zee Devil
11-19-2008, 08:47 PM
I'm sorry that there are so few people around this board who were able to experience the famous "Freddy Lind game" when Duke went to triple overtime to beat Carolina in 1968. I know that if everyone who ever reads or posts to this board had seen that game there would no longer be threads about "what is the best Duke win ever?" I can say that based on forty years of watching Duke basketball. Although there have been many, many great victories during that time, with a lot riding on those games, including three national championships, many ACC championships and other really intense victories (like a lot of victories over the Heels), I don't think I've seen one that yet matches the incredible Triple-OT win that Duke pulled off over then #2 ranked Carolina.

Unfortunately, there's no way to see that game again (that I know of). However, our very own Jim Sumner wrote a great story about it that is still available on the web. Check it out at: http://www.theacc.com/sports/m-baskbl/spec-rel/022108aac.html.

Oh yeah, our worst loss? Every loss is our worst loss -- until we win again, which being Duke almost always means the very next game!

Grey Devil


I have to agree on the Freddy Lind game. I was there - about 5 rows behind the carolina bench. Other than being present at the birth of my children, it was the most exhilarating moment I have experienced - It is not expressible.

Worst loss - probably the final loss in 86, followed by the 2 to Ucon in the final 4 and the 98 loss to Kentucky

Jim
T '70

Wander
11-19-2008, 09:01 PM
Not basketball, but that game against John Hopkins for a national title the season after the Lacrosse team went through all that garbage needs to be mentioned.

OldPhiKap
11-19-2008, 10:03 PM
Really good call. That's one of my first Duke memories. They seemed so unbeatable to my childhood imagination. Billy King became my hero after that game. (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=940DE1D71F31F934A15750C0A96E9482 60)

Thanks for the link. That was the first game I recall when K really beat a team in the tourney that we were severe underdogs.

Billy King is one of the nicest guys I have ever met and one of my all-time favorites. He wrote the book on getting in one's grill.

OldPhiKap
11-19-2008, 10:08 PM
I agree. The loss to Louisville in '86 was absolutely CRUSHING at the time.

I watched that game on the quad on the giant screen and cried my eyes out afterwards. That team was the BOMB. We were number 1 all season. We were supposed to win! And then we didn't. At the time, it seemed like the end of the world, that we'd never be back to the FF again, at least not anytime soon . . . of course we were wrong, thank goodness! :D

The other crushing losses would be to UNLV in 90 and Uconn in 99. Both heartbreaking but for different reasons. :(

Beating UNLV in '91 was the most satisfying win, helping to erase the humiliation from the previous year, but for sheer thrill, it's hard to beat the '92 Kentucky game.

I am T-88 and was there as well. The sickest thing about the whole night was that we had them beat -- and then ran out of gas with about 7 minutes to go. It went from the greatest party in the world (the quad was lined with kegs; yes, you could walk on the grass of the quad back then) and they had the huge Diamondvision/Jumbotron out there. National press cameras everywhere. Then, it all when horribly awry.

@#%@#$. Now I'm depressed again. Twenty-@$#@-two years later. That night was half a life away for me, more or less, and still stands as one of the singular events that I will never forget.

Son of Mojo
11-19-2008, 10:31 PM
Best wins that I've seen:
'92 vs. Kentucky--sheer joy after that shot sunk
'91 vs. Kansas--FINALLY winning the first title
'91 vs. UNLV--redeeming feeling from the previous year
'92 vs. Michigan--STOMPING the fab 5 in the 2nd half felt really good
'01 vs. Maryland, each game won--willed ourselves to each win
'99 vs. unc, each game won--dominating them felt soooooooooo good
'94 vs. Purdue--G. Hill proved who truly was the best player in the country
'90 vs. UConn--special, first time I ever hit the ceiling in the house with my palms
'04 vs. unc--Du-Du-Du-Duhon cutting their heart out with that layup
'03 vs. State, ACC title--Redick truly shows what he was capable of
'92 vs. unc--senior day, back & forth fight where we pull it out........y'know, really, any win against them is ultra sweet--wish there was a way to see the Lind game and Banks senior game (wasn't alive for one, the other I'd never remember for being too young)

Worst losses........
'99 vs. uconn--the wrong team won this night & is still painful
'04 vs. uconn, part deux--to have that game won and to have it taken away in the last few minutes was terrible
'90 vs. UNLV--humiliating.....only time I think I can remember & admit to crying over a loss (I was 13 at the time, sue me)
'98 vs. Kentucky--I still remember Wojo being locked into a submission hold for like 30 seconds and NO FOUL EVER CALLED
'95 vs. unc--I still hate seeing the stackhouse dunk since he was fouled on the court but given the nba continuation
'06 vs. unc--hole fans never let me forget this one
'00 vs. Florida--any senior loss is painful (and this was a winnable game for the most part) but seeing C-Well walk off really, really bummed me out badly
'91 vs. Arizona--I still say Koubek hit the 3 that mysteriously later on was called a 2......cost us the game; western home cooking...?
'89 vs. Seton Hall--Brickey gets hurt and it was aaaaaaaaaaaaaaall downhill from there
'01 vs. unc at home--ugh.....that didn't happen, did it?
'94 vs. Arkansas--I still think we were better.....
'02 vs. Indiana--not only was J-Will's missed FT a pain & Boozer getting hit without a call very bad but watch a few minutes before that.....IU inbounded the ball on the sideline and I swear the guy took 4 steps before passing it in......remember, that's on the sideline......that's a hansborough

Cameron
11-20-2008, 01:13 AM
Two worst losses:

UConn '04

Despite how stacked we were in '99 -- and we should have rolled to a championship that season -- my worst UConn experience was by far that of the '04 Final Four. And that is because of Chris Duhon, my all-time favorite Duke Blue Devil. He gave so much to Duke, and, despite taking so much heat and criticism his junior season, he never let his love for the Blue and White waver. He was Duke. The first time I saw him confidently pull up from 30' on a fastbreak and knock it home, sending Cameron into a tizzy, I was in love. The anticipation I had before each and every game Chris played was unbelievable. Watching him play for the final time was just too hard.

LSU '06

Even though Duhon is my all-time favorite, JJ Redick's career was simply astonishing, and a period in time I will never forget. As filled with anticipation as I was before Duhon's games, Redick's senior season tour was like going to a rock concert every night -- except I was at home and watching basketball on TV. The level of enthusiasm and wonder I was surrounded with the hours leading up to each game is unexplainable. What record would fall tonight? How many triples would he nail? Would he reach 50? Did he outscore Adam? We will probably never again witness that type of Duke Basketball event, especially not in terms of a full season. Words can't describe it. JJ's games were touches of Heaven, a hoops fans' true nirvana (forget A March to Madness).

As upset and distraught as I was over Duhon's final exit, nothing could have prepared me for how I felt when I saw JJ in his uniform for the final time as a Blue Devil, standing beaten and tattered on the sideline as the final seconds evaporated against LSU. He was doomed in that game from the start. He was pushed and shoved and elbowed and blasted over and over in front of a set of officials who were afraid to be labeled, "Duke homers," and there were no teammates who stepped up. Say what you want about his shooting performance that night, but, with the abuse he was taking each time he touched the ball, not many would have scored more than 13. He was the Tigers' punching bag.

Watching that night from a bar inside Ohio State's Schottenstien Center, at the annual Boy's Basketball State Tournament, as JJ's career came to a close, I returned to my seat inside the lower bowl, buried my face in my hands, and cried. Though it was a silent cry, as I didn't come across as too much of a lunatic or to be noticed, I was completely devastated. Not only would JJ walk away from the NCAA Tournament empty handed for the fourth and final time, but I would also never see him play for my team again. He was gone.

I'm sure that's far from normal, but, when you have so much invested in something, it's hard not to show the emotion.

Most amazing wins: 2001 Final Four, Maryland and Arizona

Jfrosh
11-20-2008, 10:12 AM
Worst loss for me is easy, '86 vs. Loisville. Walking back from main Quad, fighting back tears while the news cameras tried to get shots of us crying and boarding the bus back to East Campus... still vivid in my mind 20+ years later.
The '89 Collapse Vs Seton Hall and the '98 collapse vs Kentucky were pretty bad too.
Most exhilarating win was '92 Kentucky, but probably the biggest win was probably '91 UNLV.

DukeDevilDeb
11-20-2008, 12:56 PM
Most Devestating Loss: (three-way tie: Duke/Louisville '86 title game; UConn/Duke '99 Title game; UConn/Duke 2004, the latter being probably the hardest).

Greatest win? Easy. UNLV '91


-EJ

Ditto... that UNLV game was absolutely the greatest win ever... it was what moved Duke from the category of wannabes to YES WE ARE....

99 and 04 UConn losses were both pretty terrible.

blazindw
11-20-2008, 01:04 PM
The 2004 Final Four was my senior year and I made the trip to San Antonio. We had amazing seats in the student section to witness the carnage. My friend's aunt lived in Houston and offered us a car to drive, so we had a truly depressing drive home that evening. The rude UCONN fans (along with their sea of "Duck Fuke" shirts) made the weekend all the more magical.


The 2001 NCAA semifinal (my freshman year) was almost miraculous. Watching it on the big screen in Cameron was a great experience, as we cheered our classmate (Duhon) back from a hard fall. The gone in 54 seconds game earlier that year wasn't bad either... just not as meaningful.

I was sitting next to Juise for that 2004 Final Four game. Utterly the worst I've felt after a sporting event in my life, hands down. I still get angry thinking about it or when someone brings it up.

As for greatest win, in my mind, I would give the slight edge to us over UNC in Chapel Hill in 2004 (Duhon's reverse layup). Sitting with the Rams Club boosters in the Dean Dome when that shot went in and celebrating as if we won a national title, watching 19,000 go home with their heart and soul ripped out by Duhon's layup...what a game, what a moment, and probably the best win for me, because I got to see it live. Still, to this date, the only game I've ever seen in the Dean Dome.

DU Band Prez 88
11-20-2008, 04:39 PM
I agree. The loss to Louisville in '86 was absolutely CRUSHING at the time.

I watched that game on the quad on the giant screen and cried my eyes out afterwards. That team was the BOMB. We were number 1 all season. We were supposed to win! And then we didn't. At the time, it seemed like the end of the world, that we'd never be back to the FF again, at least not anytime soon . . . of course we were wrong, thank goodness! :D

The other crushing losses would be to UNLV in 90 and Uconn in 99. Both heartbreaking but for different reasons. :(

Beating UNLV in '91 was the most satisfying win, helping to erase the humiliation from the previous year, but for sheer thrill, it's hard to beat the '92 Kentucky game.

Duke 1986 - was at the game in Dallas with the pep band - I just remember everyone's state of shock that we lost. The trip home was miserable. The losses to UConn in '04 and LSU in '06 were also pretty bad, but they really don't come close to the feeling of devastation that a team that won 37 games & Coach K's first great team didn't win the title.

Beating UNLV in 1991 - not as great a game as '92 Kentucky, or perhaps several others ('98 comeback against UNC = greatest Duke win in Cameron) but wins my vote because of the scenario - knocking off the undefeated #1 team that thrashed us in the 1990 final, leading to Duke's first basketball national title & only the 2nd in school history.

RepoMan
11-20-2008, 04:56 PM
'99 UConn was bad for many reasons, but the worst for me was the fact that, for reasons beyond my control, I ended up watching the game not just in public, but in a bar in Chapel Hill. Predictably, Heel fans cheered louder at the Duke demise than they typically cheer in support of their own team. Combine that with the next day grief at UNC-dominated workplace, which included the cartoon sketch mocking Trajan taking the last shot, and it still makes me ill.

Best definitely was '92 Kentucky. I am a die hard true believer, even when things look bleak, but that was beyond bleak, so when the pass was made and the shot went in, I just lost my mind in sheer joy.

Dukeford
11-21-2008, 12:49 AM
Anybody who has been around long enough to remember will have to agree that the '86 finals loss is the most painful. Pervis Ellison played way above his ability that night.

I still remember the look of shock on Dawkins face when he came out of the game with about 30 seconds left. It was tough to watch him try to hold back the tears.

Matches
11-21-2008, 10:20 AM
'99 UConn was bad for many reasons, but the worst for me was the fact that, for reasons beyond my control, I ended up watching the game not just in public, but in a bar in Chapel Hill. Predictably, Heel fans cheered louder at the Duke demise than they typically cheer in support of their own team. Combine that with the next day grief at UNC-dominated workplace, which included the cartoon sketch mocking Trajan taking the last shot, and it still makes me ill.

Best definitely was '92 Kentucky. I am a die hard true believer, even when things look bleak, but that was beyond bleak, so when the pass was made and the shot went in, I just lost my mind in sheer joy.

Agreed with both of these. '99 UConn stayed with me for days - people even remarked to me that I was unusually crabby for days afterward. '06 LSU was a pretty big punch in the gut too.

'92 Kentucky narrowly tops '91 UNLV and the Gone in 54 Seconds Game.

UrinalCake
11-25-2008, 11:15 AM
Combine that with the next day grief at UNC-dominated workplace, which included the cartoon sketch mocking Trajan taking the last shot, and it still makes me ill.

A Maryland-grad buddy of mine sent this to me a couple months ago. To his credit, he waited until now. It's been almost a decade and I still have trouble accepting that loss. It was my senior year, and a win would have completed an idyllic ride from the mediocrity of my freshman year to the top of the basketball world. I would have basked in that reflected glory for the rest of my life, having left Duke feeling like a champion myself. And our team was just so freaking talented. Legitimate broadcasters (not just Duke fans) were calling it the greatest college team ever. Others suggested with a straight face that we could beat some NBA teams. The thought that we could actually lose the game seriously never crossed my mind. We were owed that title after having supported the team through the hard years. And we were going to win. The game itself was merely a formality.

And then we lost. It was a feeling of astonishment as much as disappointment. My "career" as a Duke student-fan was over and I would never get it back. All the haters were right - we were arrogant and overrated. Heartbreak isn't a powerful enough word. A close friend of mine was going through a divorce, and I think the basketball loss was actually harder for him to take. We would eventually get our title two years later, but it wasn't the same.

UrinalCake
11-25-2008, 11:21 AM
Another loss I haven't seen mentioned in this thread: the double-OT in 1995 where Jeff Capel hit the half-court heave at the end of the first OT. This one was more "heartbreaking" than "devastating," because there were virtually no implications as far as the season or our record.

On a brighter note, Elton Brand's return from a foot injury against UNC, I believe it was his freshman year. He came back much earlier than expected and they just couldn't stop him. To this day I don't know how the bleachers in Cameron held up from all the pounding.

_Gary
11-25-2008, 11:40 AM
A Maryland-grad buddy of mine sent this to me a couple months ago. To his credit, he waited until now. It's been almost a decade and I still have trouble accepting that loss. It was my senior year, and a win would have completed an idyllic ride from the mediocrity of my freshman year to the top of the basketball world. I would have basked in that reflected glory for the rest of my life, having left Duke feeling like a champion myself. And our team was just so freaking talented. Legitimate broadcasters (not just Duke fans) were calling it the greatest college team ever. Others suggested with a straight face that we could beat some NBA teams. The thought that we could actually lose the game seriously never crossed my mind. We were owed that title after having supported the team through the hard years. And we were going to win. The game itself was merely a formality.

And then we lost. It was a feeling of astonishment as much as disappointment. My "career" as a Duke student-fan was over and I would never get it back. All the haters were right - we were arrogant and overrated. Heartbreak isn't a powerful enough word. A close friend of mine was going through a divorce, and I think the basketball loss was actually harder for him to take. We would eventually get our title two years later, but it wasn't the same.

Wow! I can so empathize with you. Those feelings that you expressed are the exact same ones I felt. Never have I been so sure of a win in my life! The game truly was just a formality in my mind. Good gosh that's still painful as I think about it again.

One minor quibble. I don't believe the team was overrated in the least. They were arrogant and that's what led, at least in part, to our downfall in my book. But the team was not overrated. It really was one of the greatest college basketball teams of all time. But that arrogance really cost us. When you get some of your best players partying in Ybor City (Tampa's equivalent of Bourbon Street) into the wee hours of the night just before the Championship game, that's just plain arrogance. And it cost us what should have been rightfully ours.

I'm sick now. Gotta go take some Pepto or something.

Rudy
11-25-2008, 03:53 PM
LSU '06

Even though Duhon is my all-time favorite, JJ Redick's career was simply astonishing, and a period in time I will never forget. As filled with anticipation as I was before Duhon's games, Redick's senior season tour was like going to a rock concert every night -- except I was at home and watching basketball on TV. The level of enthusiasm and wonder I was surrounded with the hours leading up to each game is unexplainable. What record would fall tonight? How many triples would he nail? Would he reach 50? Did he outscore Adam? We will probably never again witness that type of Duke Basketball event, especially not in terms of a full season. Words can't describe it. JJ's games were touches of Heaven, a hoops fans' true nirvana (forget A March to Madness).

As upset and distraught as I was over Duhon's final exit, nothing could have prepared me for how I felt when I saw JJ in his uniform for the final time as a Blue Devil, standing beaten and tattered on the sideline as the final seconds evaporated against LSU. He was doomed in that game from the start. He was pushed and shoved and elbowed and blasted over and over in front of a set of officials who were afraid to be labeled, "Duke homers," and there were no teammates who stepped up. Say what you want about his shooting performance that night, but, with the abuse he was taking each time he touched the ball, not many would have scored more than 13. He was the Tigers' punching bag.

Watching that night from a bar inside Ohio State's Schottenstien Center, at the annual Boy's Basketball State Tournament, as JJ's career came to a close, I returned to my seat inside the lower bowl, buried my face in my hands, and cried. Though it was a silent cry, as I didn't come across as too much of a lunatic or to be noticed, I was completely devastated. Not only would JJ walk away from the NCAA Tournament empty handed for the fourth and final time, but I would also never see him play for my team again. He was gone.

I'm sure that's far from normal, but, when you have so much invested in something, it's hard not to show the emotion.


Completely normal. My son was a freshman that year and was a devoted Crazie, but had been paying attention to that Duke team long before he even applied.

I reminded him that as disappointed and bad as he felt, the team members had to have felt even worse, and the best thing would be to appreciate them (and let them know of that appreciation when they returned to campus) for the thrills they provided during that season, which included the Dockery half court shot.

A bit off topic but I was reminded over the weekend of a different team and game:

How would you feel with a team going into the NCAA final as the defending Natíl Champion, ranked #1 at the end of the regular season with a record of 35-2, having the reigning player of the year on your roster playing great, having held your tournament opponents to an average of 54 points a game, having beat your opponent twice in the regular season, your team being #1 seed and your opponent #8 seed, having your team shoot 54.7% from the floor for the game and yet losing 66-64?

Georgetown with Patrick Ewing and others losing to Villanova in 1985. Villanova shot 78.6% from the field.

After shooting 72% in the first half, Villanova shot better in the 2nd. Unbelievable game.

davekay1971
11-25-2008, 05:55 PM
How would you feel with a team going into the NCAA final as the defending Natíl Champion, ranked #1 at the end of the regular season with a record of 35-2, having the reigning player of the year on your roster playing great, having held your tournament opponents to an average of 54 points a game, having beat your opponent twice in the regular season, your team being #1 seed and your opponent #8 seed, having your team shoot 54.7% from the floor for the game and yet losing 66-64?

Georgetown with Patrick Ewing and others losing to Villanova in 1985. Villanova shot 78.6% from the field.

After shooting 72% in the first half, Villanova shot better in the 2nd. Unbelievable game.

That was an amazing game. It also makes you wonder how Akeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler felt when Lorenzo Charles dunked Dereck Whittenburg's "pass". Houston was incredibly dominant and must have felt the title was theirs the moment they beat Louisville in the semifinal. In the second half of the game, they had the momentum and the lead before Guy Lewis took the air out of the ball and let the Pack climb back in. Nice reminiscing, of two unbelievable upsets, both in the championship game, just 2 years apart. I really think '83 and '85 is what made March Madness into the greatest sporting event of all.

Rudy
11-25-2008, 06:39 PM
It also makes you wonder how Akeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler felt when Lorenzo Charles dunked Dereck Whittenburg's "pass".
True. When you watch the replay of that you can see Olajuwon standing at the foul line helplessly as it unfolded. He quit playing just a few seconds too soon. As great a player as he was in college and pros I wonder if he's still haunted by that moment or if all the games he had afterwards wiped it out.

jimsumner
11-25-2008, 07:39 PM
It's amazing how many NCAA title games have gone down to the wire. UNC beating Kansas in 3 OT's in 1957. Michigan over Seton Hall in OT in '89. Cincy over Ohio State, California over West Virginia, Loyola in OT over Cincinnati, IU at the buzzer over Syracuse, Kansas over Oklahoma in
'88,Louisville-Duke in '86, the two Arkansas games, last year's game, so many more, classics decided in the dying seconds.

And every one ended with an Hakeem Olajuwon pounding his fist in frustration and agony.

Compare with the over-hyped Super Bowl, the majority of which end up something like 35-6 and are defined by their commercials.

quickgtp
11-25-2008, 07:59 PM
Both of mine, from a Duke perspective, are from the last decade:

Most agonizing loss was 2004 Final Four against UConn and the Refs

Best win was our Final Four comeback against UMD in 2001....down 39-17 in first half to pull away at the end. Amazing, IMO.

footballfan2
11-26-2008, 04:43 AM
best win:

1998 UNC vs Duke at Cameron. It was a culmination of 4 years. Duke had hit rock bottom in 1995. Roshown McLeod and Elton Brand put Duke on their back and willed us to vistory. Wojo running and hugging Coach K at the end. In my opinion, that win signified a lot more than just one victory or a victory over UNC.

Worst loss:

1999 vs UConn. Actually I'm not too surprised that UConn won. In my opinion that Duke team was one of the best, if not the best, college basketball teams ever assembled. It had it all. Yet that year I lived in CT. I watched and went to several UConn games. UConn was a very, very good team.

davekay1971
11-26-2008, 07:45 AM
UConn was a very, very good team in 1999. Over time, somehow that game has been turned (perception-wise) into a huge upset. But Duke and UConn were 1-2 (sometimes 2-1) all year. Duke probably had the better team, but UConn wasn't far off in terms of talent, most of our talent was young, and UConn had the better night. I don't know how many Duke-Haters have since tried to use that game as an example of the ludicrous "Duke-Has-All-The-Talent-But-Always-Chokes" argument. I watched that game and was disappointed, particularly for Trajan who had survived 1995 and 1996, only to help bring Duke all the way back to the top and have it end like that.