When you really start to rank great wins by Duke in the classic Duke-UNC rivalry, a few jump to the top. The 1968 three-overtime thriller featuring Fred Lind. The 1972 Robby West game. The 1978 win which signaled Duke was back. The 1981 game which saw Gene Banks hit a tremendous shot to put the game into overtime. The Chris Duhon full-court dash in 2004. The Wojo game. We could go on.
There are so, so many memories that they all tend to run together in one big blue haze of epic beauty.
But even so, some really do stand out. Obviously the Austin Rivers game as we saw Thursday. And the Tre Jones/Wendell Moore thriller from two years ago.
If by any chance you forgot or didn’t see it, Duke got two buzzer beaters: one from Jones who missed a free throw and then nailed a jumper to tie the game at the buzzer 84-84. Then, at the end of the overtime, Jones was back on the line. He made the first and missed the second. Moore tipped it out, Jordan Goldwire got it back to Jones, who shot an airball…which Moore picked up and tipped in, with the shot bouncing around and falling in as time ran out.
It reminds us of one of our favorite basketball stories. After Marquette beat UNC for the national title in 1977, a kid threw his TV out the window. Said he had just seen the most beautiful thing he would ever see and didn’t need a TV anymore.
We wouldn’t blame anyone if they had just stopped watching after that tip-in.