People tend to forget, and some never knew, that before Notre Dame joined the ACC there was a bit of bad blood between Duke and Notre Dame.
Well Coach K and Digger Phelps got along okay but there was some tension, starting with the Gene Banks recruitment (after Banks committed to Duke, Phelps continued to recruit him).
Then there was Phelps and his endless jealous carping about the ACC, a bit ironic now.
Suffice it to say the Irish weren’t hugely popular in North Carolina.
So when Notre Dame, led by the great David Rivers, trailed 75-74 and were about to bring the ball in with :05 left, the situation was very tense.
Everyone in the gym knew Rivers would get the ball. Only an idiot would let someone else on that team take the last shot.
He did get the ball and maneuvered into the lane for a turnaround jumper just a few inches inside of the foul line only to find Dawkins right there.
Dawkins went up and blocked the shot. We’re sure other games in Cameron have been decided by a block but we can’t think of any and how many of those blocks were by a guard? And a guard so slight that a teammate who met him for the first time asked where his big brother Johnny was?
The video is grainy here but the moment is indelible. After Dawkins blocked the shot, teammate Mark Alarie picked the ball up and threw it to the rafters in triumph.
Which was totally appropriate because it was one of the great plays ever in Cameron.