Duke’s class of of 1986 put Coach K’s program on the map and was, as he has called it, foundational.
It got Duke to the Final Four in 1986 and within a whisker of the national championship.
As great as it was though, Duke had made the Final Four in 1978 and hadn’t been back since.
To paraphrase John Wooden, lots of teams go once in a row.
In 1986-87, Duke was expected to take a big step back.
Duke made a run to the Sweet Sixteen, losing to eventual national champs Indiana, coached by Coach K’s mentor and college coach Bob Knight.
Duke competed hard and took them to the end before losing 88-86.
The next season Duke would return to the Final Four and would do so again for five straight seasons.
Things had changed in Durham and Duke and ACC basketball would never be the same.