In 2001, Duke won its third national championship and in some ways, it was the most satisfying.
First there was Shane Battier and we’re not sure anyone has ever represented Duke Basketball better than Battier did.
Second, it was just a blast to watch Jason Williams play. And Mike Dunleavy, Chris Duhon and Carlos Boozer?
What a fun team that was.
The 2001 OSM starts at the end, with Battier kissing the championship plaque.
Although the brief era of overused computer effects had not yet ended, there was an important aesthetic change over the previous couple of years: there are only 14 shots before the lyrics start. It’s a much less frenetic pace.
The jump ball has a digital spiral under it. Honestly, a lot of that stuff just seemed gratuitous.
After a few other shots that now seem random (but not to those in them or those who know/knew them), Williams gets the “shooting star” spot. Then there’s a pensive shot of Temple’s John Chaney on the bench.
Again, we understand the excitement over the special effects that were suddenly possible and easy, but they did not age well. Fortunately, HDTV had nearly arrived and would change many things.
Battier gets the “now it shows” line, followed by a guy diving for the ball, then a Notre Dame player shaking his head and a dogpile. Shortly after that, we see Loren Wood, who struggled to follow Tim Duncan at Wake Forest before leaving for Arizona. He was also a high school teammate of Chris Carrawell’s.
There are a lot of guys we can't remember, then a long downcourt pass and a cheerleader who is either depressed or praying, or possibly both.
Then there is a beautiful sot of a guy walking with his school’s mascot hugging him after a big win and another mascot crying in defeat.
Dunleavy gets the “inside you knew” spot then Hampton Steve Merfeld exults as a player raises him in the air, his feet kicking in total jubilation after his #15 seed team upset #2 Iowa State. That’s a wonderful March image.
A long three with a digital trail follows that moment. Then Eastern Illinois’ Henry Domercant gets the “beat of your heart” spot followed by Wisconsin’s Mark Vershaw in a moment of real disappointment. That team was coached by Tony Bennett’s dad, Dick, by the way, and it was waaaaay slower than what his son does at Virginia.
A few shots later, Kentucky's Tayshaun Prince makes an appearance and before too long we see Williams again, this time smiling.
Arizona’s Jason Gardner gets a cameo as the finals begin to come into focus, then we see Stanford’s Casey Jacobsen, who apparently seriously considered Duke before choosing the Cardinal. Then a nice shot of a smiling Lute Olson. There’s another Arizona shot followed by an apparently angry Temple player then a special effect kind of ruins a Spartan pass.
Two Illini embrace and then Terrapins Juan Dixon and Lonny Baxter celebrate a victory - but not over Duke!
Gardner points to someone while running downcourt and then there’s an ugly bit of unnecessary graphics on a tip-in.
Maryland’s Steve Blake lines up a jumper and then we get Terps nemesis Battier smiling like “I got this.” Then we get the rare back-to-back shots of a single player with Battier pumping the air, Richard Jefferson hitting the floor for Arizona, Battier’s insane block-and-save of a Gardner shot and Nate James being a badass on a drive. Then Dunleavy lines up a shot he’s about to drill and then the final game shot, which is Williams tossing the ball in the air.
What’s great about that one is that he told Duhon that that was a dream of his and Duhon had the ball and wanted to make sure his teammate got to make his dream come true.
Then we see the team triumphant and Battier weeping as the accomplishment sinks in.