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28 Years And Counting: The Laettner Game Still Cuts Like A Knife

At least if you’re Kentucky fans that is.

1992 NCAA National Basketball Championship Title
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – APRIL 6: Duke University forward Christian Laettner holds up the net after his team’s 71-51 victory over the University of Michigan which earned Duke the NCAA Photos via Getty Images National Basketball Championship title at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, MN.
Photo by Rich Clarkson/NCAA Photos via Getty Images Photo via Getty Images

In the history of sports, you might find an episode or two where one team just permanently ripped the heart out of another team’s fan base at the last second and, well, stomped on it. Maybe Villanova did it to UNC in the 2016 championship game. Maybe it happened to Red Sox fans when the ball rolled between Bill Buckner’s legs in the 1986 World Series.

It doesn’t happen too often though and almost never with a villain as effective as Christian Laettner.

Laettner’s last second gutting of Kentucky in 1992 is still played every spring during the NCAA tournament and as time goes by, it’s pretty clear it’s not fading for Kentucky fans.

Take this lady, who met Christian Laettner’s aunt. They had a pleasant visit apparently and took a photo together.

Even so, the wound is still fresh: before she knew that her companion was Laettner’s aunt, she said that as Duke and Kentucky fans, they'd have to relive the “Laettner game” that left her “crying in front of my TV, like everybody else. I was in shock.”

Well, maybe not everyone else. We were in shock too, but in our case, the reaction was sheer glee.

And still is all these years later.