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YouTube Gold: Duke-Georgia Tech, 1985

The core of Duke’s greatness was there, but not quite matured

Clarkson NCAA Archive
DALLAS, TX - MARCH 31: Mark Alarie #32 of the Duke Blue Devils scores against the Louisville Cardinals during the 1986 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship held at Reunion Arena on March 31, 1986 in Dallas, Texas. Louisville defeated Duke 72-69 to win the national title.
Photo by Rich Clarkson/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

By 1985, Mike Krzyzewski’s Duke program was clearly on the rise. In 1984, the Blue Devils had finished 24-10, capping off a couple of very difficult years in which some Duke fans turned on Coach K.

Duke was on track for a second-straight NCAA appearance and was a serious contender for the 1985 ACC title.

That year the ACC was ridiculous though. UNC had Brad Daugherty and Kenny Smith. Maryland had Len Bias. NC State had Spud Webb, Nate McMillan, Lorenzo Charles and Charles Shackleford. Clemson had Horace Grant and Grayson Marshall. Wake Forest had Delaney Rudd, Kenny Green and the legendary Muggsy Bogues.

No one had a losing record either.

So when Duke got to the ACC Tournament and ran into Georgia Tech in the second round, after beating Maryland in the first, well it wasn't the Georgia Tech teams we’ve seen lately.

The Yellow Jackets had Mark Price, John Salley, Bruce Dalrymple, Duane Ferrell and Craig Neal and were coached by Bobby Cremins.

Like Coach K, in 1985 he was still a new coach, having arrived in Atlanta in 1981.

Georgia Tech won this game 75-64 and went on to beat UNC in the finals, 57-54.

Duke went on to the NCAA Tournament of course, but after beating Pepperdine in the opener, lost to Boston College 75-74. The Eagles were then coached by a young Gary Williams, who later became a fierce rival when he came back to Maryland four years laterand rebuilt the Terrapins after scandals ended both Lefty Driesell’s career and Bob Wade’s too.