30 Days of Madness: The Laettner Shot Before the Laettner ShotPosted by rtmsf on March 25th, 2010
We’ve been anxiously awaiting the next thirty days for the last eleven months. You have too. In fact, if this isn’t your favorite time of year by a healthy margin then you should probably click away from this site for a while. Because we plan on waterboarding you with March Madness coverage. Seriously, you’re going to feel like Dick Cheney himself is holding a Spalding-logoed towel over your face. Your intake will be so voluminous that you’ll be drooling Gus Johnson and bracket residue in your sleep. Or Seth Davis, if that’s more your style. The point is that we’re all locked in and ready to go. Are you? To help us all get into the mood, we like to click around a fancy little website called YouTube for a daily dose of notable events, happenings, finishes, ups and downs relating to the next month. We’re going to try to make this video compilation a little smarter, a little edgier, a little historical-er. Or whatever. Sure, you’ll see some old favorites that never lose their luster, but you’ll also see some that maybe you’ve forgotten or never knew to begin with. That’s the hope, at least. We’ll be matching the videos by the appropriate week, so all of this week we re-visited some of the timeless moments from the regionals of the NCAA Tournament. Enjoy.
Dateline: 1990 NCAA Regional Finals – Duke vs. Connecticut
Context: As we move into the regional finals, there have been SO MANY memorable shots, games and storylines over the years. How to choose just a handful of them? Ultimately we decided to just go with our gut, hopeful that you’ll forgive us if we don’t show the Laettner shot for the zillionth time. Ok, we lied. You’ve seen the 1992 Duke vs. Kentucky shot more times than you can possibly handle, but how many of you remember the first time that Christian Laettner solidified his Mr. March bona fides? The situation was this: In 1990, Duke was in the middle of their Buffalo Bills run, having made the Final Four in 1986, 1988, and 1989, yet having still never won the national title. Jim Calhoun’s rising Connecticut program had its best team in history, coming into the East Regional final at 31-5, the #1 seed in the region and fresh from a Sweet Sixteen game against Clemson they won on a miraculous length-of-the-court play where Tate George hit a turnaround shot at the buzzer. After 39+ minutes of battle between Nadav Henefeld, Chris Smith, Alaa Abdelnaby and Danny Ferry, it appeared that UConn’s dream season would result in their first-ever Final Four appearance, but with 2.6 seconds remaining, the sophomore Laettner had other ideas. This shot made Laettner a March legend a full two years prior to the perfect game he threw against Kentucky that elevated his career to one of the greatest of all-time in college basketball.
(ed. note: we have no idea why this video is in fast-mo, but this was the only version we could find)