Well the big day is almost on us, as our esteemed rivals from down 15-501 get
in a bus and ride over for The Game.
In recent years, Duke-UNC has become an absolutely titanic matchup, and
though some of the gloss might be off this game a bit this year, with UNC not
ranked, it still is drawing an enormous amount of attention, and is, as always,
the premiere game nationally this weekend.
Among other guests: the Fabulous Sports Babe.
In the earlier matchup, when Duke still had Mike Dunleavy, UNC forced
overtime and the game hit heights that made Chris Carrawell run by press row and
yell that it was one of the best Duke-UNC games ever.
Mmmm...not really. We usually defer in cases like this, but we've seen more
of them than Cwell has:
- the Robbie West game, when a very down Duke beat UNC.
- the Walter Davis game, when UNC had the legendary comeback.
- the Airball game in 79.
- Gene Banks' senior game.
- Vince Taylor's senior game
- the 88 title game in the ACC Tournament.
- The Stackhouse dunk/Capel long bomb game
- the 17 point comeback two years ago.
- this year's game
We weren't around to see Fred Lind or Art Heyman, but those are famous, too.
Point is, odds are it will be a good game regardless of who is ranked and who
isn't, and if you think UNC will roll over, or the UNC which has showed up
periodically this season looking bloated and self-satisfied, will show up on
Saturday, you are deluding yourself: they are just as excited by this game as
are we, and their pride is very much on the line.Â They can't take the
regular season title from Duke, but they can certainly dim the glitter a bit.
And Duke is still a bit tired and thin without the remarkable Mr. Dunleavy
filling in at whatever position he's needed.Â And being warm, and March,
Cameron will be hot, and since neither team is very deep (though UNC is a bit
deeper now), it's likely to resemble a death match.
And while we make fun of our friends from Chapel Hill, all Duke fans, we
think, take great pride in this rivalry, as we expect UNC fans do, and we know
that we are only half of this passion play. So, as we do every year at this
time, win or lose, we would like to thank UNC's basketball team for being half
of this rivalry. It stands up to anything in sports, and there's no way Duke
could do it alone, or UNC, for that matter. So enjoy it, celebrate it, hope we
win, but never forget the brilliance we have seen in our lives.Â There is
nothing on earth like this game in Cameron. Nothing.Â It's our Easter, our
Thanksgiving, our Mardi Gras, all rolled up into one.Â We are so lucky to
have this, so treasure it, win or lose.Â
Let us take this occasion to reprint one of the greatest posts ever on our
board, about the Fred Lind game. This is a classic.
Pardon a history lesson from a long-time lurker, but I have to agree with
the previous poster that the Freddie Lind game was the most awesome
moment in Cameron history (although it was Duke Indoor Stadium in 1968).
And I have been to 90 percent of the games played in Cameron since then,
including UNC in '98 and DePaul. Both were great moments.
Still, the Lind game was special, in ways that are hard to explain in
hindsight. It wasn't just that the opponent was Carolina (ranked No. 2 in
nation that day with Charlie Scott, Larry Miller, Rusty Clark, Dick
Grubar, Bill Bunting, Eddie Fogler and Jim Delany). And it wasn't just
game went into triple overtime before Duke won 87-86.
No, what made it special was Lind and his remarkable contribution.
How can I explain this to someone who wasn't there -- before that game,
Fred Lind was a joke. He was a 6-10, 240-pound junior who had scored
maybe 10 points in his two varsity seasons (freshmen weren't eligible
them). He was Duke's version of the human victory cigar. He never played
unless the issue was decided one way or another. Although he was on
scholarship, the closest thing I can compare him to would be Ryan Caldbeck
imagine how you'd feel if K sent Caldbeck into the Carolina game with
game on the line.
But that's what happened that day. All-American center Mike Lewis got in
early foul trouble and his backup, Warren Chapman was sidelined with
knee problems. Chapman's knees had been a problem for weeks, but usually
when Lewis was out, Vic Bubas slid forward Steve Vandenberg over and
brought another forward (usually Tim Kolodjiez ... K would have loved
him) off the bench.
He couldn't do that against UNC's size -- Clark, listed at 6-10 was
clearly a seven-footer, and Bunting was a legit 6-10 (although slender) at
was later reported that Bubas called Lind in the night before the UNC
game and told him to be ready to play.
I don't know how Link took it, but the Cameron crowd (they didn't call
them crazies then) was shocked when Lind got in in the first half, after
picked up three fouls. I think we were all pleasantly surprised that the
player we considered a joke hold his own during a good seven or eight
Lewis returned to start the second half as Duke fought to stay close to
UNC. But he picked up his fourth ... then fifth foul and left with Duke
about five with about five minutes left.
In came Mr. Lind. This time, he was not merely adequate ... he was
inspired. For the next five minutes, he was everywhere -- rebounding,
scrambling on the floor for loose balls. He helped Duke tie the game (on
a shot, I believe, by Dave Golden). With the score tied and time running
down, UNC went to the Four Corners for the final shot. They got the ball
to Clark down low. He turned, shot ... and had it stuffed down his throat
Cameron was going nuts as the game went into overtime. But once again
Carolina took the lead. Please forgive my memory, since I can't keep the
sequence straight but I know that UNC took a two-point lead into the
seconds of both the first and the second overtimes.
On one occasion, Lind tied the game by cooly sinking two free throws.
another, he pulled up at the foul line on a fast break and dropped in a
15-foot jumper just as the buzzer sounded.
The final overtime wasn't quite as dramatic -- I'm pretty sure that
Vandenberg actually hit the shot that put Duke up three with seconds
and UNC scored a meaningless basket at the buzzer. I believe Lind ended
the game with 17 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks ... I might be off a
bit on the stats, but I'm pretty certain he had more points, rebounds
blocks in that game than in his entire career up to that point.
When it was over, the crowd rushed the floor and carried off Freddie
... not only that, a few hundred/thousand students waited in the area
between Card and Cameron for Lind to dress and leave -- then they
him to the main quad for another celebration.
I've never seen anything like it ... before or since. And I've never
heard Cameron louder than it was that day.
I know it was a long time ago, but Freddie Lind deserves to be
P.S. If I got any of the details wrong, please forgive me -- it was a
long time ago and maybe it's like the Bard said, "the feats we did that
remembered -- with advantages." But I'll swear to the gist of the story
and "stand a tip-toe when the day is named."