clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

YouTube Gold: Duke-UCLA 1992

Duke got a tough game from the Bruins before pulling away late

Brian Davis - Duke
Brian Davis, shown here against Notre Dame in 1990, scored 19 against UCLA on March 1, 1992.

The 1991-92 season was one of the most impressive in Duke history as the Blue Devils roared to a 34-2 record, losing only to UNC and Wake Forest.

Duke played Michigan and the Fab Five twice, St. John’s when it was still a powerful program, Notre Dame, Louisiana State with Shaquille O’Neal, and UCLA.

There’s lots of room to criticize former coach Jim Harrick, who was terminated after a scandal, but the guy was a really good game coach and an excellent recruiter.

UCLA featured Don McLean, Mitchell Butler, Jamal Murray and Shon Tarver. They were ranked #2 in the country and Duke played them in Pauley Pavilion.

On March 1st.

It was a gutty scheduling decision on the surface but not really. Well, it was, but not in the way people thought.

For Mike Krzyzewski, scheduling a really good team late in the season did two things: first, it exposed the Blue Devils to a very different style just before the post-season, and second, a loss would allow flaws to be addressed.

People with an inability to take risks, or to benefit from a late loss, would never have the nerve.

In this case, Duke didn’t have too much to worry about.

UCLA led at the half, and was down 61-59 with 3:23 left and outscored the Bruins 13-6 down the stretch to win 75-65. It was particularly impressive since Duke played without an injured Grant Hill

Obviously Duke didn't lose again, going on to win its second national championship a few weeks later. The Bruins did test Duke though.