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Laettner’s Legacy, Continued

The Shot in 1992 will never be forgotten by Duke fans or Kentucky fans, but for very different reasons.

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Duke University Blue Devils
Christian Laettner will never be forgotten by Kentucky fans - and they hate him and Duke for it.

We’re increasingly convinced that no player in college basketball and perhaps any sport, haunts the dreams of an opposing fan base the way Christian Laettner haunts the dreams - or maybe nightmares - of Kentucky basketball fans.

Latest evidence: after Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, Lexington sportscaster Alan Cutler named his favorite moment in his career: Kentucky’s 1998 win over Duke in the NCAA Elite Eight.


Cutler: “I’m walking down from the Duke bench to where the Kentucky players were to meet the photographer and get my shots, and I turn to the right, and it’s the darndest thing: people are crying in the stands. They’re crying, and it wasn’t one or two people. There were a lot of people crying. It hit me at that moment how important it was to beat Duke. There was no one crying when they beat Utah for the national championship.

”The emotion of that game was stronger than the emotion of any other game that I’ve covered here.”

The reason they were crying is because Kentucky finally got a measure of revenge for Laettner’s iconic winning shot in the 1992 Elite Eight, a shot that Kentucky fans have never gotten over. Getting some revenge for being gutted like a fish in ‘92 was more important than winning a national championship.

Christian Laettner will be in the back of the minds of Kentucky basketball fans who saw that game for as long as they live.

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