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YouTube Gold: Larry Johnson On Why UNLV Lost To Duke In 1991

He’s partly right but Duke came to play

University of Nevada Las Vegas Larry Johnson, 1991 NCAA Semifinals
 College Basketball: NCAA Final Four: UNLV Larry Johnson (4) in action vs Duke. Indianapolis, IN 4/1/1991 CREDIT: John Biever
SetNumber: X41203

Tuesday we brought you Grant Hill and his thoughts on Duke’s massive win over UNLV in 1991. The Rebels were undefeated and fully expected to win their second straight title in a blaze of glory.

Instead, it would be Grant Hill and his Blue Devil teammates who would win the national title in 1991 and go on to win another in 1992.

And, as it turns out, it was functionally the end of the glory years of UNLV. Jerry Tarkanian would soon leave and things have never been the same.

In this video, Larry Johnson tells Rex Chapman, who is doing his best impression of Swifty Lazar, that he blames himself for that loss.

And why does he do that?

Well, because he says he was coasting until about five minutes were left in the game, when he finally realized the Rebels might lose - but it was too late to turn things up.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski had told his team that Vegas had not had true game pressure, but, as some people noted at the time, UNLV was playing tight.

Georgetown gave them a surprisingly good game and Seton Hall did too.

Of course in 1991, people didn’t know that Bobby Hurley and Grant Hill would become great players or that Christian Laettner would become, well, Christian Laettner.

How else can you define him?

So anyway, it’s interesting to hear the other side of the story.