The top five ‘what if’ Duke basketball seasons of all time

Duke basketball (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Duke basketball (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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Duke basketball
Duke basketball players Antonio Lang, Grant Hill, and Cherokee Parks (Getty Images) /

Scouting Report. 24-8 overall. 2. player. Pick Analysis. 10-6 ACC. 1992-93 Blue Devils. 434


THE RESULT: Lost in Second Round to California

The 1992-93 Duke basketball squad had senior guards Bobby Hurley and Thomas Hill. The Blue Devils also had legend Grant Hill and solid Brotherhood stalwarts in Cherokee Parks and Antonio Lang. Essentially, the two-time defending national champs had the entirety of the previous team minus Christian Laettner and Brian Davis.

Enter Jason dadgum Kidd. The freshman phenom for California, now a likely future Hall of Famer, hit a crazy layup in the final moments after being fouled by Grant Hill and went on to ice the game with a free throw.

What made that game so devastating, though, was the events preceding the Kidd heroics. If you go back and watch the tape, you’ll notice the Golden Bears were on fire for about 30 minutes. When I say on fire, I mean…They. Did. Not. Miss.

Seriously, it felt like even the waterboys could have entered the game and hit a jumper at one point. Hurley wasn’t going out like that, though, and rallied the troops to take a one-point lead with 2:21 left in the game; Mr. Kidd, however, saw to the rest.

This one stings purely because of how good the Devils were that year. Michigan brought back its Fab Five and looked tough, but Duke owned them during the two seasons Michigan featured that renowned lineup. And I firmly believe any game against North Carolina — the fact the Tar Heels won the title still adds to the sting — is a toss-up, even in the title game.