For Duke fans, 1990 and 1991 were huge years. In 1990, UNLV just eviscerated Duke in the National Championship game. Afterwards, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said that he wasn’t sure that people understood how good UNLV had been and then he clarified that: “they were great.”
The 1991 game was obviously quite different. UNLV came into the game undefeated and looked for all the world like a team for the ages.
But it was a different team.
Vegas had lost a couple of role players who gave them a certain level of toughness and despite being undefeated, they were vulnerable, as Coach K told his team. They hadn’t had any game pressure and when Duke gave them some, they had a tough time responding, particularly in the closing minutes.
In this video conversation with Andre Dawkins, Grant Hill, who was a freshman on that team, talks about why 1991 was different.
There are some funny parts of this, like the 1991 parents thinking that Duke was going to be crushed (again), Coach K walking out on his team on Sunday after the big win and some other good stuff.
As Duke fans know, Hill is a thoughtful, cerebral man and Dawkins is an excellent host. You’ll enjoy this.