Duke Basketball: Crazies raise funds to fly in K.J. Maura for UVA game

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

In addition to five-star 2019 forward Matthew Hurt, it appears the Cameron Crazies will have another honorary member in attendance when the Duke basketball team hosts Virginia on Jan. 19.

The Cameron Crazies have drawn criticism — unfairly — in recent years for losing their creative touch. Well, the Duke basketball program’s renowned student fans have responded with a doozy of an idea — and in typical Crazies fashion, they aren’t afraid to follow through with what less-fun fanbases might see as ridiculous or a tad over-the-top.

Not only did Steve Hassey and Peter Potash, the co-head line monitors of the Cameron Crazies, invite last season’s most-beloved (except by Virginia) point guard from March Madness to stand with them on Jan. 19 when the Blue Devils host the Cavaliers, but they set up a GoFundMe account to come up with the money for his plane ticket.

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In case you were on Mars last March, UMBC — which stands both for the University of Maryland-Baltimore County and, ever since last March, “U Must Be Cinderella” — became the first 16-seed in the history of the NCAA Tournament to knock off a 1-seed.

And the two faces remembered most — one happy, one sad — were those of the two guys who played all 40 minutes of the 74-54 blowout by the Retrievers: K.J. Maura, UMBC’s former spunky little guard who will be the Crazies’ special guest, and Kyle Guy, UVA’s sharpshooting junior guard who has already taken notice of and given bring-it-on support (via a tweet) to the Duke students’ latest antics.

Here’s the message Hassey and Potash typed to garner support for the GoFundMe page:

"Imagine the fear of God in Kyle Guy’s eyes when he sees KJ Maura on the sideline. He keeps his eyes trained on the man who knocked him out of the 2018 NCAA Tournament in the biggest upset in March Madness history. His worst college moment, relived in Cameron.Then, he turns his eyes back to the court just in time to see Zion Williamson absolutely posterizing him.This can be our reality. We just need to pay for KJ’s flight. Contribute today, and we’ll make sure Virginia finds its special place in Hell.GTHC,Steve Hassey & Peter PotashCo-Head Line Monitors 2018-19"

And Maura, who now plays professionally in Puerto Rico, appears to be 100-percent on board with the plan, as seen by his response above the message that Barstool Blue Devils tweeted in order to advertise the campaign:

So, this is happening.

It should be pointed out, however, that there is a real possibility that this backfires on the Blue Devils. After all, Guy scored 15 points in the first half of UVA’s 76-71 win at Maryland a few weeks ago after Terrapins fans taunted him with pictures of his viral reaction to the loss against UMBC.

Then again, Guy and Co., regardless of the impact of the presence of Maura standing and cheering on the Blue Devils with the Crazies courtside, will still have to figure out a way to stop Zion Williamson and Co.

Currently, Duke is ranked No. 2 with a 9-1 record. Virginia is ranked No. 6 with a 9-0 record.

One thing’s for sure: five-star 2019 power forward Matthew Hurt, who will be on his official visit to Duke that weekend, will get to witness quite a show.

Note: At the time of publishing, the GoFundMe account had raised $498 of its $555 goal (oh, and some guy named Tony Bennett just gave $20).

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The Blue Devils’ next game is at home against Princeton on Tuesday at 6 p.m. on ESPN2.