The five greatest Duke basketball tournament games to rewatch

Duke basketball (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /
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Duke basketball
Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /


2001 at Maryland (The Miracle Minute, Duke wins, 98-96 in OT)…OK, I lied a little. I had to bring up this one regular-season game, one of Mike Krzyzewski‘s comeback masterpieces. Nate James sends it to overtime, and Duke basketball great Shane Battier ices the win with a block at the end. It belongs here simply because of the look and sweat (more to come on both of those things).

2019 at Louisville (Duke wins, 71-69)…You got me, I lied again, for I have a thing for comeback stories. One more regular-season clash as Zion Williamson and the gang staged a jaw-dropping win after being down by 23 (had it the whole time) with 9:58 to play.

ALSO READ: The five sweetest comeback wins under Coach K

2010 Regional Final vs. Baylor (Duke wins 78-71)…Now, for the tourney, this was about the most bruising game in Duke basketball history. I personally had to get pieces of it relayed to me live by my father while I was at Air Force Basic Training over the phone. In that same sense, Duke faced a brutal Baylor Bears defense that left pieces of them all over the floor (metaphorically). Lance Thomas got an offensive board off a missed free throw (sound familiar?) and kicked it to Nolan Smith to tie the game with 3:33 left.

1991 National Championship vs. Kansas (Duke wins, 72-65)…The game itself was never really in doubt. Watch this one just for the legendary Grant Hill dunk and subsequent Billy Packer freak-out. It’s also worth a view because it’s the first Duke basketball title and also the first time eventual UNC coach Roy Williams got a taste of Coach K’s wrath.

1992 National Championship vs. Michigan (Duke wins 71-51)…Just like the above game, this one wasn’t much of a thriller, but its significance is in the fact that it’s Banner No. 2 in Durham. Christian Laettner was ice-cold in the first half, and Michigan took advantage, leading by one at the half. Bobby Hurley was the walking epitome of guts in that game and sank triple after triple right in Jalen Rose‘s face, eventually sparking Laettner and the rest of the boys to a Fab Five-crushing victory.

2001 National Championship vs. Arizona (Duke wins 82-72)…Yours truly loves patterns, and right on queue, another one more significant for the banner than the game. It was closer than the score indicates, but the Blue Devils got a HUGE lift from Mike Dunleavy Jr., whose 21 points helped the Duke basketball program earn its third title.

All right, folks, now for the main event!