In 2010, Duke was a good team but no lock to win the national title. That team won on grit and effort and intelligence.
It got a lot better once Brian Zoubek emerged and as it turned out, he was a fearsome bear who even his teammates had to pay careful attention to.
This was never truer than in the regional finals. When Zoubek fouls out of the Baylor game, look at how fiercely he goes after his replacement, Miles Plumlee, who at that point was not always reliable. That moment gives us chills because Zoubek was very clear: don’t mess this up or you’ll have me to answer too (and Plumlee didn’t).
The following Monday, as the championship against Butler wound down, Zoubek, never very healthy until the end of his Duke career much less very athletic, dominated the final :20 seconds of the game. He made the right decision time after time after time.
That’s not a lot of time to garner immortality but it was a perfect :20 seconds or so of basketball.
But before that was the Baylor game and his warning to Plumlee. Here’s the whole game. The foul comes in the waning minutes.
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