We can't remember anymore where the myth that “Duke gets all the calls” started, but Gary Williams had something to do with it. He made snide remarks about that over the years and reportedly in the 2001 Final Four matchup between Duke and Maryland snarled at a ref “how bad do you want Duke to win this game!”
Which is one reason why Maryland struggled so much against Duke. If your leader doesn’t think you can win, why would you?
In the title game that Monday, just a couple of minutes in, Jason Williams fell over Arizona’s Jason Gardner, who was bent over, without touching him: his hands were on the floor and he made no contact with Gardner. Really, it was a stunning bit of athleticism. But what could you call? He didn’t touch him.
Billy Packer said something like “looks like Duke is going to get all the calls!”
That’s just sort of what Duke has come to expect.
Interestingly though, former Wisconsin star Sam Dekker isn’t buying it.
When asked if “the Badgers got jobbed by the refs in the ‘15 Duke game?” Dekker said this: “No. They outplayed us in every facet the last 7:30.“
A huge part of that of course was Grayson Allen, then an unknown freshman who came off the bench and did amazing things.
In a nice twist, now he’s playing for the Milwaukee Bucks. The Badgers and Bucks fan bases overlap and there was some lingering resentment. However, he appears to have won them over just as he won Duke fans over: through sheer effort.
Which is also a big part of why Duke overcame Wisconsin.