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The Last Great Game: Duke vs. Kentucky and the 2.1 Seconds That Changed Basketballby Gene Wojciechowski
Synopses & Reviews
The definitive book on the greatest game in the history of college basketball, and the dramatic road both teams took to get there.
March 28, 1992. The final of the NCAA East Regional, Duke vs. Kentucky. The 17,848 at the Spectrum in Philadelphia and the millions watching on TV could say they saw the greatest game and the greatest shot in the history of college basketball. But it wasn't just the final play of the game-an 80-foot inbounds bass from Grant Hill to Christian Laettner with 2.1 seconds left in overtime- that made Duke's 104-103 victory so memorable. The Kentucky and Duke players and coaches arrived at that point from very different places, each with a unique story to tell.
In The Last Great Game, acclaimed ESPN columnist Gene Wojciechowski tells their stories in vivid detail, turning the game we think we remember into a drama filled with suspense, humor, revelations and reverberations. The cast alone is worth meeting again: Mike Krzyzewski, Rick Pitino, Bobby Hurley, Jamal Mashburn, Christian Laettner, Sean Woods, Grant Hill, and Bobby Knight. Timed for the game's 20th anniversary, The Last Great Game isn't a book just for Duke or Kentucky or even basketball fans. It's a book for any reader who can appreciate that great moments in sports are the result of hard work, careful preparation, group psychology, and a little luck.
"The 1992 NCAA East Regional final between Duke University and the University of Kentucky is considered one of the best basketball games of all time, one that ended with the improbable. With just over two seconds left in overtime, Grant Hill threw a perfect 80-foot inbounds pass to Christian Laettner, who made the game-winning basket over two defenders as time expired. As compelling as this historic game was, so were the backgrounds of the teams involved. Kentucky was thought to be years away from a Final Four berth, but head coach Rick Pitino and his punishing game plan resurrected a scandal-plagued program. Duke, coming off a national championship, was a perennial powerhouse whose driven players were convinced another title was theirs. Wojciechowski, a senior reporter for ESPN.com, traces the two teams' path to each other and the game's impact on its participants, but little space is devoted to the hypothesis promised in the title. We never learn how this legendary tilt influenced college basketball or why it's the defining game in an intensely popular sport. Though fans of both colleges will lap up the locker room tales and glory day remembrances, Wojciechowski's effort reads too much like a prodigiously reported magazine article. 16-page color insert." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Phil Jacksonand#151;the legendary coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bullsand#151;has told his own story. Now it is time for a different viewand#151;a deeply reported, unauthorized account by one of Americaand#8217;s top sports journalists.
A compelling narrative about the people who produced the most spine-tingling moment in modern college basketball history.” –Seth Davis, Sports Illustrated and CBS
March 28, 1992. The final of the NCAA East Regional, Duke vs. Kentucky. Millions could say they witnessed the greatest game and the greatest shot in the history of college basketball. But it wasn’t just the final play—an 80-foot inbounds pass with 2.1 seconds left in overtime—that made Duke’s 104-103 victory so memorable. Each player and coach arrived at that point with a unique story to tell.
In The Last Great Game, ESPN columnist Gene Wojciechowski turns the game we think we remember into a drama filled with suspense, humor, revelations, and reverberations. Not just for Duke or Kentucky fans, this acclaimed New York Times bestseller is for everyone who appreciates the great moments in sports.
About the Author
Gene Wojciechowski is a senior national columnist for ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine. Prior to joining ESPN in 1992, he worked as a sports reporter for publications including the Chicago Tribune, The Denver Post, and the L.A. Times. He has received four Associated Press Sports Editors National Writing Awards, among other honors, for his work. He has also authored and co-authored various sports books, including The Bus, a bestselling biography of Jerome Bettis. A former Duke hater, Wojciechowski has made peace with the Blue Devils. He lives in Wheaton, Illinois.
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