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Another Fan's Guide Excerpt

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Here's another excerpt from the upcoming Fan's Guide To Duke Basketball, this one by Al Featherston from an article about Duke's first Final Four team. Enjoy!

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That class might have been even better -- Missouri prep star Bill Bradley had originally signed with Duke and only changed his mind and went to Princeton at the last minute. Indeed, Duke’s coaches were waiting to welcome him on campus when the father of the future three-time All-American called to tell Bubas that his son wasn’t coming.

The might-have-beens of a Heyman-Mullins-Bradley combo in 1963 would haunt Bubas.

“I experience a sharp pain in my stomach when I think about it,” Bubas said when Duke faced Princeton in December of 1962. “And when I see Bradley play, I become almost ill.”

Yet, even without the future three-time All-American, the 1963 Blue Devils were loaded and everybody knew it.

“In some ways, I think they are better than Carolina was (in 1957),” NC State's Case said. “I think that’s the most overall talent I’ve seen on one ballclub in our league. Carolina in ’57 didn’t have much depth. Duke’s got a lot of (talented players) and they can vary their lineup. Just take them in and out – it doesn’t make much difference.”

Bones McKinney made his opinion known in a curious way. His 1962 Wake Forest team edged UCLA in the consolation game at the ’62 Final Four. It was an important win for the ACC since it earned the conference a first-round bye in the following year’s tournament.

“Tell Vic we did it for him,” McKinney told reporters, acknowledging that Bubas’ Blue Devils would benefit from the bye in ’63.

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