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Duke's 79-77 victory over seemingly invincible UNLV in the 1991 NCAA semifinals easily could top our list.
UNLV was a heavy favorite in the game. Plus, for a variety of reasons, Jerry Tarkanian and his Rebels were the villains, according to a USA Today report. They came into the contest on a 45-game winning streak and were 34-0 on the season when they faced Duke. UNLV is still the last team to enter the NCAA tournament with an unbeaten record.
More significant was the fact that UNLV had four starters back from a Rebels team that had crushed Duke 103-73 in the 1990 championship game.
Late in the 1990-91 season, Cedric Ceballos, who was in the NBA at the time and had faced UNLV while at Cal State Fullerton in 1989-90, told me the 1991 Rebels would give the worst NBA teams a run for their money if the game were played in Las Vegas.
Meanwhile, Duke had lost to North Carolina by 18 points in the ACC tournament.
Somehow Duke stayed with UNLV in the second half of the 1991 semifinals. Rebels point guard Greg Anthony fouled out with 3:51 left, but UNLV led by five points before Duke's Bobby Hurley made a three-pointer with 2:14 to play.
UNLV then was called for a 45-second shot clock violation with 1:24 remaining, according to a report by The Baltimore Sun. (The 35-second shot clock was instituted two years later.)
Duke's Brian Davis converted a three-point play to put the Blue Devils ahead by a point with 1:02 left.
UNLV star Larry Johnson missed two free throws with 49.9 seconds to go, but Duke's Thomas Hill was called for a lane violation on the second attempt. Johnson made the additional free throw to tie the game.
Christian Laettner was fouled with 12.7 seconds left after grabbing an offensive rebound on Hill's missed shot. Laettner hit both free throws to finish with 28 points and put the Blue Devils ahead by two.
Duke claimed the victory when UNLV's Anderson Hunt, who had scored 29 points, missed on a wild three-point attempt.
Duke beat Kansas in the title game.
"I still say, more than my UConn buzzer-beater (to get Duke to the 1990 Final Four) and more than my UK buzzer-beater (the famous 104-103 win over Kentucky in 1992), the most glorious moment of my career at Duke was that first championship (in 1991)," Laettner told USA Today.