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View Full Version : 1991 Final Four -- Tark, Dean, Roy, and K



roywhite
02-11-2015, 08:01 PM
So many interesting storylines from that NCAA Final Four; brought to mind by the passing of Tark and Dean within a week of each other. Amazing grouping of coaches and some great drama in the games.

Classic semifinals:
Duke vs UNLV -- revenge for the 1990 finals whipping, the latest "greatest team ever" finally gets tested and beat
UNC vs Kansas -- teacher Dean vs pupil Roy, and the teacher gets ejected; Kansas ends up preventing the much anticipated/dreaded Duke vs UNC Final Four matchup

Duke vs Kansas -- Grant Hill with one of the all-time dunks, Duke breaks through for championship #1; Roy vs K later becomes a regular rivalry

gumbomoop
02-11-2015, 08:13 PM
So many interesting storylines from that NCAA Final Four; brought to mind by the passing of Tark and Dean within a week of each other. Amazing grouping of coaches and some great drama in the games.

Classic semifinals:
Duke vs UNLV -- revenge for the 1990 finals whipping, the latest "greatest team ever" finally gets tested and beat
UNC vs Kansas -- teacher Dean vs pupil Roy, and the teacher gets ejected; Kansas ends up preventing the much anticipated/dreaded Duke vs UNC Final Four matchup

Duke vs Kansas -- Grant Hill with one of the all-time dunks, Duke breaks through for championship #1; Roy vs K later becomes a regular rivalry

Agree about the drama. One friendly amendment: the much anticipated Final was supposed to be UNLV-UNC. After UNC lost in the first semi, the gloomy prospect was a Kansas-UNLV Final. I don't recall that much dread about a Duke-UNC Final, as almost no one was predicting that. Turns out they were right.......

Tripping William
02-11-2015, 08:22 PM
This was the dinner time conversation at our house with our 10-year-old son. My Tar Heel mrs. and I recounting different sets of memories, emotions and experiences from different locales and frames of reference. (She and I hadn't even met yet.) An almost-unmatchable Saturday. Crazy that it's nearly 24 years ago, and that two of the key protagonists have now died within days of each other.

Reilly
02-11-2015, 08:24 PM
... I don't recall that much dread about a Duke-UNC Final ...

I recall a lot. I was in The Triangle at the time. And amongst the folks I knew, the emotions of that week swung from one pendulum -- "man, beating Carolina for the national championship would be the best thing ever" -- to the other -- "man, losing the national championship to Carolina would be the worst thing ever and I really don't think I could handle it." Great excitement/relish v. absolute dread.

gumbomoop
02-11-2015, 08:32 PM
I recall a lot. I was in The Triangle at the time. And amongst the folks I knew, the emotions of that week swung from one pendulum -- "man, beating Carolina for the national championship would be the best thing ever" -- to the other -- "man, losing the national championship to Carolina would be the worst thing ever and I really don't think I could handle it." Great excitement/relish v. absolute dread.

I stand corrected. I wasn't in the area. My recollection was that very few thought Duke could beat the maybe-greatest-ever UNLV. But I can see that plenty of Duke fans might have thought it a real possibility, and UNC fans might have worried that the improbable might happen.

But outside the Triangle, the common assumption was UNLV-UNC. Right?

roywhite
02-11-2015, 09:27 PM
I recall a lot. I was in The Triangle at the time. And amongst the folks I knew, the emotions of that week swung from one pendulum -- "man, beating Carolina for the national championship would be the best thing ever" -- to the other -- "man, losing the national championship to Carolina would be the worst thing ever and I really don't think I could handle it." Great excitement/relish v. absolute dread.


I stand corrected. I wasn't in the area. My recollection was that very few thought Duke could beat the maybe-greatest-ever UNLV. But I can see that plenty of Duke fans might have thought it a real possibility, and UNC fans might have worried that the improbable might happen.

But outside the Triangle, the common assumption was UNLV-UNC. Right?

Yes, the common assumption probably was a UNLV -- UNC final, but Reilly expresses what I had in mind. Long-time Duke fans have speculated for years about a Duke--UNC matchup for the national championship; the stakes would almost be too high, it would be hard to watch. In this case, having to face UNLV first was plenty daunting.

I'm also recalling Dean's ejection by Peter Pavia; from the New York Times College Basketball; Smith Ejected on 2 Technicals (http://www.nytimes.com/1991/03/31/sports/college-basketball-smith-ejected-on-2-technicals.html)


Smith, the model of composure and coaching cool in his 30 years at North Carolina, drew two technical fouls and was ejected from the game by Referee Pete Pavia with 35 seconds to play in today's semifinal game against the Jayhawks at the Hoosier Dome here. The Tar Heels, who were trailing, 76-71, when Smith was tossed from the game, lost to Kansas, 79-73.

After the game, Bill Guthridge, an assistant coach for North Carolina, engaged in an angry confrontation as the officials left the floor.

Smith called the second technical foul against him and his ejection from the game "ridiculous" and "an embarrassment."

devildeac
02-11-2015, 09:31 PM
Yes, the common assumption probably was a UNLV -- UNC final, but Reilly expresses what I had in mind. Long-time Duke fans have speculated for years about a Duke--UNC matchup for the national championship; the stakes would almost be too high, it would be hard to watch. In this case, having to face UNLV first was plenty daunting.

I'm also recalling Dean's ejection by Peter Pavia; from the New York Times College Basketball; Smith Ejected on 2 Technicals (http://www.nytimes.com/1991/03/31/sports/college-basketball-smith-ejected-on-2-technicals.html)

And he didn't even bang the scorer's table...:rolleyes:

sagegrouse
02-11-2015, 09:54 PM
I stand corrected. I wasn't in the area. My recollection was that very few thought Duke could beat the maybe-greatest-ever UNLV. But I can see that plenty of Duke fans might have thought it a real possibility, and UNC fans might have worried that the improbable might happen.

But outside the Triangle, the common assumption was UNLV-UNC. Right?

Duke was playing very well coming into the Final Four (despite a bad loss to UNC in the ACC Finals). I thought we had a good chance against UNLV. And then, the game started. We were playing out of our mind and were ahead by only a point at the half. I thought UNLV would win easily in the second half, when we would cool off. But then, Hurley made the three; Brian Davis drove the lane for a layup; Christian made two FT's. Whaddaya know? We're ahead.

Olympic Fan
02-11-2015, 09:56 PM
Yes, the common assumption probably was a UNLV -- UNC final, but Reilly expresses what I had in mind. Long-time Duke fans have speculated for years about a Duke--UNC matchup for the national championship; the stakes would almost be too high, it would be hard to watch. In this case, having to face UNLV first was plenty daunting.

I'm also recalling Dean's ejection by Peter Pavia; from the New York Times College Basketball; Smith Ejected on 2 Technicals (http://www.nytimes.com/1991/03/31/sports/college-basketball-smith-ejected-on-2-technicals.html)

The ejection was an embarrassment -- for Pavia.

Pavia was dying of cancer (and he knew it). The UNC-Kansas game was the last NCAA game he ever called. He ejected John Thompson from a big game in the Carrier Dome. He ejected John Thompson from the Big East Tournament. He also worked the NIT finals were he ejected Billy Tubbs in the championship game. He knew the end was near and used the opportunity for some payback.

The game was essentially over when Dean was ejected. One of his players had fouled out and he was walking the sub up to the scorer's table. The only thing he said was, "How much time do I have"

Dean could be a jerk on the sidelines, but not on this occasion --

One other memory from Indy that weekend was on Friday students from Duke and students from UNC were lined up in front of adjacent ticket windows to pick up their allotments. The UNC kids started chanting "Oh-for four" mocking K's Final Four record. The Duke students chanted back, "Long time no see!" mocking Carolina's nine-year Final Four drought.

Reilly
02-11-2015, 09:57 PM
I stand corrected. I wasn't in the area. My recollection was that very few thought Duke could beat the maybe-greatest-ever UNLV. But I can see that plenty of Duke fans might have thought it a real possibility, and UNC fans might have worried that the improbable might happen.

But outside the Triangle, the common assumption was UNLV-UNC. Right?

I think both statements can be true -- that is, conventional wisdom favored UNLV winning, and yet there was still much anticipation/dread over the apocalyptic possibility of a Duke/UNC final, even if it was not assured or even likely.

I think if Duke and UNC were in the Final Four this year, there would not be the same level of dread. We've now got four championships -- that's a lot of success cushioning any blow a fanbase may suffer.

In that week leading up to UNLV, of course we had none at that point, and K had been to the FF 5 times in 6 years right then, and the thought of UNC doing the denying (for Duke's 5th empty-trip in 6 years) that time was just too much to think.

FerryFor50
02-11-2015, 10:12 PM
How great was that year?

UNC loses in the final four. Dean gets ejected.

Duke beats heavily favored UNLV and then KU for the title.

Reilly
02-12-2015, 05:26 AM
The ejection was an embarrassment -- for Pavia ...

Here's an article on Pavia's cancer fight (and noting that Pavia called the Líville/Duike game in 1986):

http://articles.philly.com/1991-01-29/sports/25818139_1_macrobiotic-diet-cancer-courageous-award

There's a memorial hoops tourney in his name at a community college in NY:

http://www.mcctribunes.com/general/2014Pavia

The Pete Pavia Memorial Scholarship Fund is dedicated to the memory of the late Pete Pavia, a longtime Division I basketball official from Rochester. Mr. Pavia was very active in charity efforts for Camp Good Days and Special Times. He demonstrated courage, caring, and compassion for others until he lost his battle with cancer in 1992 at the age of 54. Pete Paviaís tradition of courage and excellence is exemplified at MCC. Each year, two scholarships are awarded in his honor to a deserving male and female from their respective basketball teams at Monroe Community College.

Reilly
02-12-2015, 05:38 AM
... The only thing he said was, "How much time do I have" ...

Per this article (criticizing Pavia), Dean shouted it three times and was out of the coach's box. Chart at the bottom notes Al McGuire got two T's in 1974 -- so was he ejected then?

http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1991-03-31/sports/1991090126_1_pavia-dean-coach-box

alteran
02-12-2015, 08:11 AM
I think both statements can be true -- that is, conventional wisdom favored UNLV winning, and yet there was still much anticipation/dread over the apocalyptic possibility of a Duke/UNC final, even if it was not assured or even likely.

I think if Duke and UNC were in the Final Four this year, there would not be the same level of dread. We've now got four championships -- that's a lot of success cushioning any blow a fanbase may suffer.

In that week leading up to UNLV, of course we had none at that point, and K had been to the FF 5 times in 6 years right then, and the thought of UNC doing the denying (for Duke's 5th empty-trip in 6 years) that time was just too much to think.

The worst part was that I had a feeling Duke was going to beat UNLV. I just knew it. (Or, to be more accurate, I knew Duke had a hell of a team, a world of motivation, and could push UNLV to the limit, a place they hadn't been in over a year). But it would take everything Duke had to win.

And UNC would be playing an over-achieving Kansas team, and reach the finals relatively fresh.

I did not like the looks of that. Plus, King Rice had a way of making Hurley look bad.

Fortunately, things didn't turn out that way.

alteran
02-12-2015, 08:22 AM
Per this article (criticizing Pavia), Dean shouted it three times and was out of the coach's box. Chart at the bottom notes Al McGuire got two T's in 1974 -- so was he ejected then?

http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1991-03-31/sports/1991090126_1_pavia-dean-coach-box

You'll look a long time before you find a guy T'd up for being out of the coach's box. You'll look even longer to find a coach getting an ejection technical for one. It just isn't called. Certainly back then.

I hated Dean as much as the next guy, but that call shouldn't have been made.

But ultimately, the game was pretty much over anyway.

wilson
02-12-2015, 08:29 AM
I was 8 years old, but I have very vivid memories from that Saturday as well. My wife did not grow up as much of a sports fan, so she is still coming to understand why and how so many sports-related moments are touchstone memories of my life. I was recently explaining to her that '91 Final Four Saturday is one of my fondest family memories. My parents, my brother, and I watched the games that night, hoping against hope that Duke could somehow break through against UNLV. I remember that Kansas-unc was the first game, and because we were a big ACC basketball family, we were all taken aback upon seeing Dean get the heave-ho. As for Duke-UNLV, I can tell you exactly where I was in that house as the final seconds ticked off.
Strangely, I never even considered the prospect of a Duke-unc final. These days, that would be an obsession for me for the entire Final Four week, and if such a situation ever came to pass, I honestly don't know if I'd be able to handle it.

weezie
02-12-2015, 08:42 AM
...I never even considered the prospect of a Duke-unc final..and if such a situation ever came to pass, I honestly don't know if I'd be able to handle it.

Well, now you have DBR and we'd be here for you. Maybe you'd lose your job as a result of never getting off DBR but still, we'd be here for you.
And Duke would win, and that would be swell! :cool:

flyingdutchdevil
02-12-2015, 09:10 AM
Well, now you have DBR and we'd be here for you. Maybe you'd lose your job as a result of never getting off DBR but still, we'd be here for you.
And Duke would win, and that would be swell! :cool:

I'm not sure I can wait 6 days until our royal beat down of UNC!

superdave
02-12-2015, 09:50 AM
I agree that the stakes would be too high for a Duke-Unc title game. I do not want to see it because I would be in the fetal position thinking about all the possible outcomes. Imagine the game-day feeling of a February grudge match multiplied by the National Championship to the square root of a Rivalry Armageddon. Too much. I'd need pills to keep my heart going, other pills to calm me and maybe one of those Hannibal Lecter masks.

One of the biggest things I miss about the great Final Fours like 1991 - besides the big coaching personalities involved - is you really knew all the players on all the teams because they were in college 3-4 years. Now, I need to print out a roster with headshots to figure out who is in for Kentucky or VCU/Butler etc.

RIP Dean and Tark.

AIRFORCEDUKIE
02-12-2015, 09:55 AM
Well, now you have DBR and we'd be here for you. Maybe you'd lose your job as a result of never getting off DBR but still, we'd be here for you.
And Duke would win, and that would be swell! :cool:

The meltdown or celebration from such a game would be too great for DBR to handle, and the site would have to shut down for a few days. Just like the meltdown from one of our recent first round losses in the tournament.

TexHawk
02-12-2015, 09:57 AM
Agree about the drama. One friendly amendment: the much anticipated Final was supposed to be UNLV-UNC. After UNC lost in the first semi, the gloomy prospect was a Kansas-UNLV Final. I don't recall that much dread about a Duke-UNC Final, as almost no one was predicting that. Turns out they were right.......

Maybe from your seat it was. In the prior season, UNLV had started as the unanimous #1, and there was talk of an undefeated season, best cbb team ever, etc. In their 3rd game (preseason NIT), an unranked KU team blew their doors off in MSG. This was just after KU had beaten #2 LSU in Baton Rouge with Shaq and Chris Jackson. KU then beat a ranked St John's team in the final. They went from unranked to #3 in the country in a week.

Anywho, UNLV went on to lose 4 more games, but did win the title. In the lead-up to the Final Four in 91, a few UNLV players pointed to that KU game in 90 as the one they wanted payback for. (Similar to how Duke felt about UNLV, obviously not on the same scale.) Yes, there wasn't a weird amalgam of fear/stress/excitement that you all saw in a potential final with UNC, but there was definitely some anger from UNLV towards that KU team. In the hour after the UNC win, I was extremely worried about a motivated Rebels squad blowing us out by 40.

Eakane
02-12-2015, 11:37 AM
I admit it; I lost faith. I did not think we could beat UNLV, but went to Cameron to watch on the big screen.

Afterwards, I called my best friend in NY to break the game down. Somehow, the joke of driving to Indy came up, and then became a reality.
My friend flew to DC where I picked him up and we drove to Indy. My Commercial Law Professor scored two tickets from dismayed UNLV fans for $100 bucks apiece (I assume he took a modest markup) for us.

After the game, we went to the hotel for a final cheer of the team, and shook hands with Brian Davis. We then hit the road for NY. My buddy drifted off to sleep, and I accidentally drove into the outskirts of Cleveland. Two hours later my friend woke up and said "Where are we?" "We're fine, we're about 5 hours away." I waited 20 minutes and then said, "Hey Bill, ever been to Cleveland?" "No," he replied. "Well, you have now." :-)

We finished the drive to NY, and then I hit the road for Duke; 500 miles away. I arrived 10 minutes before my Com. Law class.

2400 miles. Worth every last one.

Tom B.
02-12-2015, 12:10 PM
Duke was playing very well coming into the Final Four (despite a bad loss to UNC in the ACC Finals). I thought we had a good chance against UNLV. And then, the game started. We were playing out of our mind and were ahead by only a point at the half. I thought UNLV would win easily in the second half, when we would cool off. But then, Hurley made the three; Brian Davis drove the lane for a layup; Christian made two FT's. Whaddaya know? We're ahead.



We actually trailed by two at halftime -- the score was 43-41. In the second half, we stopped UNLV's fast break and turned them into a halfcourt team, which they were unaccustomed to. Another key moment in the sequence you mentioned was UNLV's 47-second shot clock violation (47 seconds because the shot clock at the time was 45 seconds, and UNLV got two extra seconds when the shot clock was reset to five seconds by rule after Laettner knocked the ball out of bounds with three seconds remaining). That defensive stand came on the possession after Hurley made the three-pointer that cut UNLV's lead from five to two. Then Brian Davis hit an old-fashioned three-point play to give us the lead, 77-76. UNLV tied it on a Larry Johnson free throw -- he actually missed both free throws, but Thomas Hill committed a lane violation on the second one because Johnson had a weird hitch in his shooting motion, so Johnson got a do-over on the second FT and hit it. Then Laettner hit the free throws that put us up for good on the next possession.

I was at that Final Four, and what I remember most about the game was how the clock.....just.....seemed.....not.....to.....move. I can't recall a game where I've ever been that intently focused on every single possession. It would feel like several minutes elapsed, and I'd look up to see that only 30 seconds or so had gone off the game clock. I swear that game took years off my life, but it was worth it in the end!

rasputin
02-12-2015, 01:32 PM
We actually trailed by two at halftime -- the score was 43-41. In the second half, we stopped UNLV's fast break and turned them into a halfcourt team, which they were unaccustomed to. Another key moment in the sequence you mentioned was UNLV's 47-second shot clock violation (47 seconds because the shot clock at the time was 45 seconds, and UNLV got two extra seconds when the shot clock was reset to five seconds by rule after Laettner knocked the ball out of bounds with three seconds remaining). That defensive stand came on the possession after Hurley made the three-pointer that cut UNLV's lead from five to two. Then Brian Davis hit an old-fashioned three-point play to give us the lead, 77-76. UNLV tied it on a Larry Johnson free throw -- he actually missed both free throws, but Thomas Hill committed a lane violation on the second one because Johnson had a weird hitch in his shooting motion, so Johnson got a do-over on the second FT and hit it. Then Laettner hit the free throws that put us up for good on the next possession.

I was at that Final Four, and what I remember most about the game was how the clock.....just.....seemed.....not.....to.....move. I can't recall a game where I've ever been that intently focused on every single possession. It would feel like several minutes elapsed, and I'd look up to see that only 30 seconds or so had gone off the game clock. I swear that game took years off my life, but it was worth it in the end!

I put my dust-covered VHS tape (taped over-the-air broadcast on CBS) in my dust-covered VCR last night. Tom B's post summarizes many of the memorable bits from that game. We also benefited from some Rebels' key players getting (deservedly) in late foul trouble.

My wife enjoyed the players' wearing the shorts that were actually shorts.

Two other things struck me, the first of which I was prepared for: the fact that Duke was the popular favorite among fans in general, not the hated team we are now. The second (and I don't mean to hijack the thread, but . . .) was that Billy Packer, at least in that game, was not the sourpuss we all remember, where everything happened because player A messed up, instead of it being because player Z made a good play. Packer was generally complimentary of both teams' players. I can't really remember if this was an anomaly, because the game was a thing of beauty--basketball being played at a very high level from both teams. Or was it because Packer hadn't become the grouchy version of himself yet?

Olympic Fan
02-12-2015, 01:46 PM
I put my dust-covered VHS tape (taped over-the-air broadcast on CBS) in my dust-covered VCR last night. Tom B's post summarizes many of the memorable bits from that game. We also benefited from some Rebels' key players getting (deservedly) in late foul trouble.

My wife enjoyed the players' wearing the shorts that were actually shorts.

Two other things struck me, the first of which I was prepared for: the fact that Duke was the popular favorite among fans in general, not the hated team we are now. The second (and I don't mean to hijack the thread, but . . .) was that Billy Packer, at least in that game, was not the sourpuss we all remember, where everything happened because player A messed up, instead of it being because player Z made a good play. Packer was generally complimentary of both teams' players. I can't really remember if this was an anomaly, because the game was a thing of beauty--basketball being played at a very high level from both teams. Or was it because Packer hadn't become the grouchy version of himself yet?

I'd vote for the latter -- in the 1970s and through the 1980s, Packer was probably the best color commentator college basketball has ever seen. Al McGuire was funnier, but Packer had a better insight.

I don't know when he lost it. Clearly, by the 2001 Final Four. he had become the curmudgeon we all remember ... and his dislike of Duke overwhelmed his commentary that weekend.

But that's like Willie Mays with the Mets -- we shouldn't let that ugly memory erase the beauty of Mays with the Giants. And we should not let what Packer became erase what he was.

royalblue
02-12-2015, 02:14 PM
March 30, 1991 My Favorite Day ever no question!!!
Dean ejected ( I was hoping for a lifetime) but Dean did get back.
To start that Saturday if you had told me Uncch loses, Dean's ejected and Duke wins I would have told you my chance is better to win the lottery than to have all 3 happen. I did think Duke had a shot but I did not think Dean would lose in what amounts to the JV game played that day. Compare how you felt after Duke got blown out in the ACC final to that eve of March 30th.

I got to tell some very manic uncch fans
When the smoke clears
the true ACC Champion
appears.
I have been to 5 final fours but did not get to that one. If I could go back in time to one sporting event that would be top of the list.

Those were the good ole days

Tom B.
02-12-2015, 02:34 PM
Two other things struck me, the first of which I was prepared for: the fact that Duke was the popular favorite among fans in general, not the hated team we are now. The second (and I don't mean to hijack the thread, but . . .) was that Billy Packer, at least in that game, was not the sourpuss we all remember, where everything happened because player A messed up, instead of it being because player Z made a good play. Packer was generally complimentary of both teams' players. I can't really remember if this was an anomaly, because the game was a thing of beauty--basketball being played at a very high level from both teams. Or was it because Packer hadn't become the grouchy version of himself yet?




Yep -- back then UNLV was the feared juggernaut, and Duke was the team of plucky underdogs who'd come close a few times but couldn't win the big one.

And Packer not only wasn't a sourpuss -- he was all but openly rooting for Duke. As UNLV began its last possession (after Laettner hit the two FTs to put Duke ahead), Packer said that if UNLV shoots and misses, Duke doesn't have to secure the rebound -- all Duke had to do was get a hand on the ball and knock it as far back down the court as we could, and the clock would run out. When Anderson Hunt took (and missed) his desperation three-pointer in the final seconds, Packer shouted, "Tap it long!!! Tap it long!!!" and then, "Ball game!!! Duke wins!!!"

The other thing about UNLV's final shot -- Stacey Augmon had gotten free from his man and was all alone under the basket. If Hunt had shot an airball instead of clanking it off the backboard and rim, it would've been Whittenburg to Charles II. (OK, it would've just sent the game to overtime instead of winning the game outright for UNLV, but I think UNLV would've pulled it out in overtime. It just felt like we'd emptied the tank at that point, and we had to win it right then in regulation.)

wsb3
02-12-2015, 02:54 PM
Two other things struck me, the first of which I was prepared for: the fact that Duke was the popular favorite among fans in general, not the hated team we are now. The second (and I don't mean to hijack the thread, but . . .) was that Billy Packer, at least in that game, was not the sourpuss we all remember, where everything happened because player A messed up, instead of it being because player Z made a good play. Packer was generally complimentary of both teams' players. I can't really remember if this was an anomaly, because the game was a thing of beauty--basketball being played at a very high level from both teams. Or was it because Packer hadn't become the grouchy version of himself yet?

I have a decent library of Duke games & this week I watched an old Duke-Unc game & I thought the same thing that Billy Packer was not who I recall him being in his last years as an announcer. You know you have lost your way when you play the ..."Don't you know who I am card."

rasputin
02-12-2015, 03:38 PM
Yep -- back then UNLV was the feared juggernaut, and Duke was the team of plucky underdogs who'd come close a few times but couldn't win the big one.

And Packer not only wasn't a sourpuss -- he was all but openly rooting for Duke. As UNLV began its last possession (after Laettner hit the two FTs to put Duke ahead), Packer said that if UNLV shoots and misses, Duke doesn't have to secure the rebound -- all Duke had to do was get a hand on the ball and knock it as far back down the court as we could, and the clock would run out. When Anderson Hunt took (and missed) his desperation three-pointer in the final seconds, Packer shouted, "Tap it long!!! Tap it long!!!" and then, "Ball game!!! Duke wins!!!"

The other thing about UNLV's final shot -- Stacey Augmon had gotten free from his man and was all alone under the basket. If Hunt had shot an airball instead of clanking it off the backboard and rim, it would've been Whittenburg to Charles II. (OK, it would've just sent the game to overtime instead of winning the game outright for UNLV, but I think UNLV would've pulled it out in overtime. It just felt like we'd emptied the tank at that point, and we had to win it right then in regulation.)

Not just plucky underdogs, but a good academic school, kids who go to class, etc. In other words, not UNC. ;)

hurleyfor3
02-12-2015, 04:53 PM
Chart at the bottom notes Al McGuire got two T's in 1974 -- so was he ejected then?

Coached used to get three T's. I believe the rule was changed for the 1991 season, although it might have been the year before.

Also you got only one free throw on a T. Missing on that list is Guy Lewis throwing a towel onto the court in the 1983 Houston/Louisville game.

sagegrouse
02-12-2015, 06:07 PM
The second (and I don't mean to hijack the thread, but . . .) was that Billy Packer, at least in that game, was not the sourpuss we all remember, where everything happened because player A messed up, instead of it being because player Z made a good play. Packer was generally complimentary of both teams' players. I can't really remember if this was an anomaly, because the game was a thing of beauty--basketball being played at a very high level from both teams. Or was it because Packer hadn't become the grouchy version of himself yet?


I'd vote for the latter -- in the 1970s and through the 1980s, Packer was probably the best color commentator college basketball has ever seen. Al McGuire was funnier, but Packer had a better insight.

I don't know when he lost it. Clearly, by the 2001 Final Four. he had become the curmudgeon we all remember ... and his dislike of Duke overwhelmed his commentary that weekend.



I thought Billy Packer invented the color commentator position, at least for network hoops. He was very knowledgeable.

Dukehky
02-12-2015, 09:18 PM
I put my dust-covered VHS tape (taped over-the-air broadcast on CBS) in my dust-covered VCR last night. Tom B's post summarizes many of the memorable bits from that game. We also benefited from some Rebels' key players getting (deservedly) in late foul trouble.

My wife enjoyed the players' wearing the shorts that were actually shorts.

Two other things struck me, the first of which I was prepared for: the fact that Duke was the popular favorite among fans in general, not the hated team we are now. The second (and I don't mean to hijack the thread, but . . .) was that Billy Packer, at least in that game, was not the sourpuss we all remember, where everything happened because player A messed up, instead of it being because player Z made a good play. Packer was generally complimentary of both teams' players. I can't really remember if this was an anomaly, because the game was a thing of beauty--basketball being played at a very high level from both teams. Or was it because Packer hadn't become the grouchy version of himself yet?

The biggest play of that game was Greg Anthony fouling out with several minutes left on a charge drawn by Hurley. A charge that Jay Bilas would have excoriated... It may have been...

OldPhiKap
02-13-2015, 06:15 AM
The biggest play of that game was Greg Anthony fouling out with several minutes left on a charge drawn by Hurley. A charge that Jay Bilas would have excoriated... It may have been...

To think, that was even before Duke got all the calls.

HaveFunExpectToWin
02-13-2015, 09:03 AM
I recall a lot. I was in The Triangle at the time. And amongst the folks I knew, the emotions of that week swung from one pendulum -- "man, beating Carolina for the national championship would be the best thing ever" -- to the other -- "man, losing the national championship to Carolina would be the worst thing ever and I really don't think I could handle it." Great excitement/relish v. absolute dread.

There was also the layer of the beating Duke took from UNC in the 1991 ACC Tournament championship game. I did not want to get beat by UNC for a national championship as well.

HaveFunExpectToWin
02-13-2015, 09:06 AM
The biggest play of that game was Greg Anthony fouling out with several minutes left on a charge drawn by Hurley. A charge that Jay Bilas would have excoriated... It may have been...

Bilas was sitting on the Duke bench at the time. He was probably ok with the call.

BTW, the whole game can be found here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=csETfUrD6ME
and just the last few minutes here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLU4leUrUDQ

OldPhiKap
02-13-2015, 09:30 AM
There was also the layer of the beating Duke took from UNC in the 1991 ACC Tournament championship game. I did not want to get beat by UNC for a national championship as well.

Didn't we lose by 20 or so? That was an ugly ugly beat down we suffered. Shows the resiliency of that team to come back and win it all. Laettner may be the only guy who hates losing more passionately than K.

HaveFunExpectToWin
02-13-2015, 10:02 AM
Didn't we lose by 20 or so? That was an ugly ugly beat down we suffered. Shows the resiliency of that team to come back and win it all. Laettner may be the only guy who hates losing more passionately than K.

22 points, I had to look it up. We got back at them the next year with a 20 point thumping. Oddly enough, the final scores were almost the same.

1991: 96-74 UNC
1992: 94-74 Duke

oldnavy
02-13-2015, 11:15 AM
You'll look a long time before you find a guy T'd up for being out of the coach's box. You'll look even longer to find a coach getting an ejection technical for one. It just isn't called. Certainly back then.

I hated Dean as much as the next guy, but that call shouldn't have been made.

But ultimately, the game was pretty much over anyway.

Did you see Brian Gregory during the GT game... he was WAY out of the box most of the game, literally on the court while the ball was in play on the same end.

I was kind of surprised he didn't at least get a warning.

Eakane
02-13-2015, 11:46 AM
The biggest play of that game was Greg Anthony fouling out with several minutes left on a charge drawn by Hurley. A charge that Jay Bilas would have excoriated... It may have been...

No question about it. If Anthony doesn't foul out, we probably don't win that game. Playing a close game without your floor general for the last few minutes was just the formula for the upset.

Looking back on it, was it really that big of an upset? I think a valid argument can be made that Duke had much more talent on the floor than Vegas. Hill, Hill, Hurley and Laetner vs. Hunt Anthony Augmon and LJ.

Reilly
02-13-2015, 11:55 AM
... Looking back on it, was it really that big of an upset? ...

This post-season computer ranking still shows UNLV as #1 in the country, 6 points better than #4 Duke on a neutral floor. How often does a 6 point underdog in hoops win? Probably a fair amount of the time -- guessing 35 or 40% of the time?

http://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/seasons/1991-ratings.html

Duke had a slightly better D than UNLV (per the computer).

alteran
02-13-2015, 12:54 PM
Did you see Brian Gregory during the GT game... he was WAY out of the box most of the game, literally on the court while the ball was in play on the same end.

I was kind of surprised he didn't at least get a warning.

I wasn't thinking about that at all, but you're dead right, he wasn't JUST out of the box, he was out on the court, and IIRC, there was a point where he actually borderline impeded a play.

BobbyFan
02-13-2015, 02:27 PM
This post-season computer ranking still shows UNLV as #1 in the country, 6 points better than #4 Duke on a neutral floor. How often does a 6 point underdog in hoops win? Probably a fair amount of the time -- guessing 35 or 40% of the time?

http://www.sports-reference.com/cbb/seasons/1991-ratings.html

Duke had a slightly better D than UNLV (per the computer).

UNLV's defensive rank is also 55th that season, which is clearly inaccurate. The offensive and defensive components of SRS doesn't account for pace, although when added together the error is offset to some degree. It explains why Princeton was ranked #1 in defense, and #286 in offense.

NSDukeFan
02-13-2015, 03:09 PM
No question about it. If Anthony doesn't foul out, we probably don't win that game. Playing a close game without your floor general for the last few minutes was just the formula for the upset.

Looking back on it, was it really that big of an upset? I think a valid argument can be made that Duke had much more talent on the floor than Vegas. Hill, Hill, Hurley and Laettner vs. Hunt Anthony Augmon and LJ.

In retrospect, you can make the argument that it wasn't that huge of an upset based on talent. But, Hill was a freshman and was not the national player of the year type player that Johnson was, and that he would become. Laettner was a consensus 2nd team all-American his junior year, as was the very defensively versatile Augmon. Greg Anthony and George Ackles were both honorable mention all-Americans, with Anthony picked #12 overall and Ackles drafted in the second round of that year's draft. Anderson Hunt was also honorable mention all-American. Thomas Hill and Hurley, as sophomores, did not yet receive any all-American consideration.

In terms of at their college peaks, Grant and Johnson are probably similar, I would take senior Laettner over senior Augmon, though it is pretty close, I would take senior Hurley over senior Anthony though it is close, Anderson Hunt would probably be ranked higher than Thomas Hill, though close and Ackles and Davis would be close.

Looking back, I still think of it as a massive upset, as Duke was just so much younger and its players hadn't reached their college peaks yet, whereas UNLV had. Duke's players may eventually have become as talented as UNLV's, but except for one night, they hadn't yet at that point.

timmy c
02-13-2015, 03:22 PM
Fascinating story related to Tark and Roy.
http://www.oregonlive.com/sports/oregonian/john_canzano/index.ssf/2015/02/canzano_jerry_tarkanian.html

Relevant quote:


Tarkanian told the best stories.

Take ex-NBA player DeShawn Stevenson, for example. Stevenson was a gifted high school player from Fresno who Roy Williams, then coach at Kansas, coveted. Trouble was, Stevenson was struggling to post an SAT score that would make him eligible as a freshman. His best score: 450. Williams was worried sick. In a last-ditch attempt Stevenson flew across country and re-tested. His new SAT score: 1150.

"Someone oughta tell Roy Williams that kid should forget basketball," Tarkanian said, recounting the story. "That kid's a Rhodes Scholar."

Tom B.
02-13-2015, 05:06 PM
The biggest play of that game was Greg Anthony fouling out with several minutes left on a charge drawn by Hurley.




It was actually Brian Davis who drew that charge.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=csETfUrD6ME#t=4511

wsb3
02-13-2015, 10:10 PM
It was actually Brian Davis who drew that charge.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=csETfUrD6ME#t=4511

Yes.....