Tar Heel Fan

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Customary Duke Bashing

I was reading through the threads and realized I had been lazy in fulfilling the one of the primary tenets of the "Tar Heel Fan Blog Charter" which is engaging in occasional Duke abuse. I ran across this play diagram on the Inside Carolina message board found at a out of date anti-Duke website: The play described above is from the 1999 NCAA Championship game when Duke at 37-1 took on UConn. Duke was a heavy favorite since they only had one loss(a buzzer beater against Cincinnati in the Great Alaska Shootout) and despite the fact that UConn was also a #1 seed. As the game unfolded the UConn defense held a Duke team, which included future lottery picks in Elton Brand, Corey Magette, William Avery, and Shane Battier, in check. With 20 seconds to and UConn leading 75-74 Duke rebounded a Husky miss and senior guard Trajan "the Alaskan Assassin" Langdon brought the ball up. Duke opted no to take a timeout(or they did not have any) but rather put the ball in Langdon's hands to try and win the game. Legend has it that when Langdon looked to the Duke bench for direction coach Mike Krzyzewski simply said, "Take 'em Trajan." Langdon brought the ball front court and then attempt to drive the lane but was stopped short, picked up his dribble and then fell down with the ball and was whistled for traveling. UConn got the ball back and was subsequently fouled. They hit two free throws to give them the 77-74 win. Of course Langdon was 7-15 and had 25 points so it was not a bad decision to have him push for the shot but I am wondering why Duke did not have Avery, the point guard bring the ball up and then set Langdon up coming around a screen off Avery's penetration. At any rate I thouroughly enjoyed watching such a highly regarded Duke team choke it away like that in the final seconds.

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