Duke’s 1999 team could have been the greatest team in Duke history and as it is, they’re better than most.
Duke lost to Cincinnati in the Great Alaska Shootout by two on a remarkable last-second play. That was in November.
The Blue Devils didn’t lose again until the national championship game when they were upset by UConn, 77-74.
Duke beat UNC in Durham 98-77, in Chapel Hill by 81-61 and in the ACC title game by 96-73.
That’s an average of 21.3 ppg.
This was the era of Ed Cota, Ademola Okulaja and other Tar Heels who couldn’t accept Duke’s dominance and continually insisted that it wasn’t that Duke was actually better...there were just...issues, you understand.
The truth though was that Duke had essentially achieved parity with UNC several years earlier and had surpassed the Tar Heels by 1992 at the latest. When Dean Smith retired, it accelerated: Duke won the ACC Tournament from 1999-2003 and then again in 2004 and 2006.
This is the 1999 ACC finals. Duke basically toyed with UNC which led to more humorous comments from various Tar Heels about how Duke wasn’t really all that good.
Well they were, so enjoy.