September 07, 2011
Ask Mike Krzyzewski the same question, and the Blue Devils coach apparently will have a different response.
In an interview about Bobby Hurley in advance of the Duke point guard's induction into the school's athletic hall of fame, Krzyzewski calls a three-pointer Hurley made in the final two minutes of Duke's 1991 Final Four matchup with UNLV the biggest shot of his tenure. Hurley's shot cut UNLV's lead to two points and paved the way for the Blue Devils to upset a juggernaut that beat them 103-73 the previous year.
"They were up five, which is three two-point possessions in a game," Krzyzewski said. "He cut out two possessions, but he also cut out part of their heart. I thought that was the biggest shot I've seen a Duke basketball player make, especially considering the circumstances and what happened the year before."
The three-pointer from Hurley has to be a sentimental moment for Krzyzewski because it led to Duke's first championship and it avenged a terrible defeat both for the Blue Devils and for their point guard. A flu-stricken Hurley had just two points and five turnovers in the 30-point loss to UNLV in the 1990 national title game.
Still, for Krzyzewski to suggest the Hurley shot is bigger than Laettner's buzzer beater is a bit of a surprise. In an ESPN SportsNation poll this past March, fans ranked the Laettner jumper as the biggest shot in NCAA tournament history, bigger than even Keith Smart's game-winning shot to win the 1987 national title or Lorenzo Charles' reverse dunk to enable NC State to cut down the nets in 1983.
(Thanks, Rush The Court)