Here’s a nice little video on how Mike Krzyzewski and Christian Laettner changed the perception of Duke Basketball from plucky underdogs to hated villains.
It also focuses on Bobby Hurley and Grant Hill, among others, but generally, it talks about how the Blue Devils were a well-regarded team up until the Vegas game in 1991.
You may remember that in 1990, UNLV just destroyed Duke in the NCAA championship game.
The following year, UNLV was even more awesome, but Coach K realized that not only could Duke hang with Vegas, but the Rebels were notably tight in the tournament. Put game pressure on them, he said, and they’ll blink.
And they did.
Then of course the next year, Duke was the hunted and Laettner was the focus and he was more than willing to take the pressure.
The 1992 Kentucky game really crystaliized it: Laettner infuriated UK fans for, well apparently ever, when he tapped on Aminu Timberlake’s chest and then later, even more unforgivably, hit the epic shot to crush Kentucky, well, forever
It’s a fun look at an amazing time. What a team that was!