Caveat here. The writer is an SEC basketball fan. Specifically, I am a Kentucky fan.
Since March 1992, I have hated Duke and with good reason.
In what many have called the greatest college basketball game every played, Duke beat Kentucky in the regional finals to go to the Final Four.
The Kentucky team which lost, was only recently removed from the great scandal involving Eddie Sutton with reports of money paid to recruits and students taking ACT tests for recruits.
Most of the great players on the Kentucky team had left. Rex Chapman went to the pros. Others transferred to other schools. What was left on that UK team were a group of short, slow unimpressive kids that Sutton had not wanted.
But when Sutton was forced out of Lexington and Rick Pitino arrived, he had no choice but to use Richie Farmer, John Pelphrey, Deron Feldhaus and Sean Woods. The three had roots in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky and one had family in Lexington.
A year in, Pitino would add a real star in Jamal Mashburn.
This was the team that faced Duke in the 1992 regional. The Duke team featured Grant Hill and Christian "Satan" Laettner.
In the first half, a Kentucky reserve post player, Aminu Timberlake, was knocked down and lay face up on the floor.
The refs should have thrown Laettner out of the game, but they left him in. He shot perfectly in the game and to the dismay of the entire Bluegrass, he hit the game winning shot after a pass from Hill with only 2.1 seconds on the clock.
Beyond what the refs should have done, Krzyzewski should have sent Satan to the locker room because of his filthy play.
No Kentucky fan will ever let that game go. We love the team who became known as the Unforgettables, and we hate Duke and Coach "Kerziezooski".
So last night, as the writer fought sleep in a game scheduled far too late for an old man in the eastern time zone, I watched with delight as Arizona shoved it down the throats of the Duke "Pukes".
Somewhere, Richie Farmer was laughing. Somewhere Pelphrey had a crooked smile on his face and Feldhaus in his humble way looked down at the floor and was happy.
As Krzyzewski knew there was nothing he could do to save his team, the look on his face was delightful to folks in Kentucky.
He looked like he needed a dose of prunes.
I hope in the time he lay awake sleepless this morning, he saw a prone Aminu Timberlake on the floor with Christian Laettner getting by with a flagrant unsportsmanlike play.
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