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YouTube Gold: Battier’s Finest Moment At Duke

This was and remains an amazing game

NCAA Final Four X Battier
Shane Battier cutting down the net after winning the national championship in 2001.

Shane Battier is undeniably a Duke legend but he is in many ways unappreciated. Such are the ravages of time.

In terms of his toughness, his clutch play and his sheer relentlessness, he is not far behind Christian Laettner in the Duke pantheon.

Anyone who saw him can recite the highlights: the Shaolin monk game. The back and forth with UNC’s Joe Forte. His role in spiritually gutting Maryland time and again, a wound that may still not have healed.

But his greatest performance, the one where he, in the old cliche, didn’t leave anything on the floor, was the 2001 national championship game against Arizona.

Battier was just brilliant throughout but there was one play that really underscored his greatness in this game.

Mike Dunleavy hit a three at 16:37 into the second half and Arizona sprinted up court. Jason Gardner saw a lane and took it to the basket. Battier saw him coming and accelerated into the lane, meeting him at the rim.

Battier caught him, blocked the shot with both hands and then flipped it behind him as he was falling out of bounds.

Chris Duhon picked it up and took off back downcourt. Jason Williams then found Dunleavy alone in almost precisely the spot where he had been for the previous three. He hit that one too, putting Duke up 49-39.

Duke would ultimately prevail 82-72, winning by double digits as they did every game in the 2001 tournament.