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YouTube Gold: Duke-Temple 1988

Watch Billy King personally destroy Mark Macon’s reputation as an unstoppable force

Temple University vs University of Massachusetts
Shown here after fouling out against Miami, Mark Macon was not happy about losing to Duke and Billy King either
Set Number: X39394 TK4

In 1988, Temple had freshman Mark Macon, and Macon was getting a huge buildup. He was being compared to greats like Magic Johnson and was said to be on a glide path to greatness.

In the NCAA tournament, Temple was seeded #1 in the East and Duke #2. The seeding held for a change, and Duke met Temple in the regional finals - which meant that Billy King would meet Mark Macon.

And Billy King would change the arc of Macon’s career rather dramatically.

King held Macon to 6-29 from the floor. He hit 1-8 on threes and 5-21 on twos.

Reportedly, after the game, Macon cried in the lockeroom. We’re sure that was mostly because Temple lost but we’ve always though it was because King just took him apart on defense.

At that point in Duke basketball, players stayed for four years and defense was not optional. You either played it or sat, and no one played it the way King did. He was a savant on that end of the court.

Macon, who before that game was seen as inevitably great, never got that aura back again. He did go in the first round and spent a couple of years in the NBA, but never achieved what people thought he would. And it wasn’t because King broke him, it was because King exposed him. He was a solid but not great player.

He coached for a few years at Binghamton but was fired after a 2-29 season. He’s now an assistant at his alma mater.