No. 15 - Duke Survives vs. Butler for Their 4th National Championship
The Player: Kyle Singler
The Sneaker: Nike Zoom Kobe V
It was an exceptional ask of a team deemed a heavy favorite, as the 2010 Duke Blue Devils marched into Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis to face a team that embodied the state’s favorite basketball movie in Hoosiers. The Butler Bulldogs were the home team wearing road uniforms and had the favorites on the ropes. Never fear for the Dookies, as Kyle Singler was here to save the day. The NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player closed the show for the Blue Devils with a resounding 19 point, 9 rebound performance and helped close the show like the person whose shoes Singler wore in the Kobe V’s.
No. 14 - Duke Overcomes a 10-point Deficit in 54 seconds to Defeat Maryland
The Player: Jason (Jay) Williams
The Sneaker: Nike Air Flight Determination
Its crazy the things you can’t do in 54 seconds. Yet, the guard formerly known as Jason Williams was writing his own legacy under Coach K and leading a furious comeback against Maryland would add another notch under his belt. Wearing the Air Flight Determination's (props to the sneaker genius Russ Bengston for ID'ing these), Williams would help the Blue Devils overcome a 10-point deficit and win a seemingly impossible game versus a hated rival in the process.
No. 13 - Hill Skies for a Memorable One-Hand Alley-Oop in the 1991 Final vs. Kansas
The Player: Grant Hill
The Sneaker: adidas Torsion Artillery II
There will always be a segment of individuals that will never like the Duke Blue Devils. The clean-cut, pristine and preppy stigma of Duke was inescapable, yet when Grant Hill came ino our lives as a freshman in 1990 people began to re-think their hatred to the program. Hill made clean-cut seem cool, and Hill made skying above the competition a regular occurrence.
Hill’s one-hand alley-oop has been etched in every basketball fan’s mind, and it would catapult the Blue Devils to their first national championship.
No. 12 - Austin Rivers Hits a Game-Winning 3 Vs. Rival North Carolina
The Player: Austin Rivers
The Sneaker: 2011 Nike HyperDunks
There are a lot of folks who dislike the Blue Devils, but no fanbase hates Duke more than the North Carolina Tar Heels. In 2012, a freshman with a recognizable last name decided to drive the knife of hatred a little deeper into UNC’s craw. Austin Rivers dribbled, dribbled and dribbled some more in the 2011 Nike HyperDunks and decided that it was time to end the game, with a three right in Tyler Zeller’s face.
No. 11 - Corey Maggette Goes Anti-Duke by Slapping Boards vs. Florida in 1998
The Player: Corey Maggette
The Sneaker: Nike Air Max Uptempo 3.0
Discipline and order are two things you can always count on with a Coach K led basketball team. Yet, a freshman from Chicago 15 years ago quickly made us all forget about those things with a radical finish at the rim.
Corey Maggette’s two-handed flush and chin-up at the rim, with the emphatic slapping of the backboard serving as something quite foreign to what we’d come to know as Duke basketball. It was an awesome sight to behold.
No. 10 - Who’s Your Daddy Leads Duke to a 3rd National Championship
The Player: Shane Battier
The Sneaker: Nike Flight Light II
The man who loved to take charges and was known around Durham as “Who’s Your Daddy,” Shane Battier was his usual versatile In the ’01 title game against the Arizona Wildcats. Rocking the Nike Air Prestos, Battier put up 18 points and 11 rebounds in an 82-72 victory to clinch the third national title for the Blue Devils.
*Although this is a post about Duke moments and kicks, the Arizona Wildcats team in that era might've worn the dopest sneakers for a team. Foamposites, Flights, Jordans...unreal.
No. 9 - Tyler Hansbrough, Meet Gerald Henderson’s Elbow
The Player: Gerald Henderson
The Sneaker: Nike Shox II
The elbow heard ‘round the world was a Gerald Henderson elbow that came crashing down on Tyler Hansbrough’s noggin underneath the basket at the Dean Dome. While stating it was unintentional, the sight of blood on a disliked Tar Heel was a shocking moment.
No. 8 - Duke Shuts Down the Fab Five, Wins 2nd National Championship
The Player: Bobby Hurley
The Sneaker: adidas Torsion Artillery II
There have been few bigger phenomenons in college basketball than the Michigan Wolverines and the Fab Five. However, the young guns from Ann Arbor weren’t ready for the well-oiled machine that were the Dookies. The floor general, Bobby Hurley, managed the Duke offense to a resounding 20-point victory in Minneapolis with 7 assists on his ledger in the process.
No. 7 - The Floor Slap
The Player: Steve Wojciechowski
The Sneaker: Nike Air MZ3
Some people love it, others despise it. Steve Wojciechowski, the gritty, feisty and (insert any other overused adjectives for a mediocre white player) Duke guard, introduced the general public to the floor slap while crouching down in his defensive stance and in his Nike Air MZ3's. Its now lasted for almost 20 years and its still just as loved and hated. Long live the floor slap.
No. 6 - Duke Kills Virginia Tech's Dreams, Again
The Player: Sean Dockery
The Sneaker: Nike Air Zoom Huarache
The Virginia Tech Hokies seemed to have a ton of bad luck with Seth Greenberg as the head coach. An emerging program was brewing in Blacksburg, but it always seemed like they were outside the bubble versus in it. One reason why? A lack of quality wins. A win versus Duke would’ve helped the resume, but Sean Dockery wasn’t having any of that.
No. 5 - The Alaskan Assassin Becomes Duke’s All-Time 3-Point Shooter
The Player: Trajan Langdon
The Sneaker: Nike Air Team Max Zoom
The shooter from Anchorage weaved a place in both Duke fans and basketball fans across the globe with his pure long range shot and his Max Zoom's behind the 3-point line. The Alaskan Assassain played through the dark days of Duke basketball while Coach K went down with a back injury, but ultimately helped get Duke back on track with an appearance in the 1999 national championship versus Connecticut.
No. 4 - The most Hated Man in College Basketball Breaks the Duke All-Time Scoring Record
The Player: JJ Redick
The Sneaker: Nike Zoom LeBron III
In JJ Redick’s senior year, the prolific scorer went on to break a 51-year old school record by putting up 30 points against Miami. Redick finished with 2,769 points and maybe just as many death threats during his four years in Durham. The brash sharpshooter (who also broke Langdon’s 3-point record) was always a target for fans, but more often than not he was on target from long range.
No. 3 - Brand Becomes the First to Leave Early and Enter the NBA Draft
The Player: Elton Brand
The Sneaker: Nike Air Zoom Obstruct
Brand was named the consensus National Player of the Year in 1999 and helped Duke get to the national championship game. Afterwards, he made the decision to leave Duke as a sophomore and apply for the NBA Draft, where he was selected by the Chicago Bulls with the #1 pick. Brand, along with William Avery and Corey Maggette, entered the NBA draft instead of returning to Duke.
No. 2 - Capel’s Half-Court Heave Sends Duke vs. UNC Game into Double Overtime
The Player: Jeff Capel
The Sneaker: Nike Air Uptempo
The now assistant coach and then former Duke guard hit a 40-foot shot with the clock expiring to send the 1995 UNC-Duke game into double overtime. The Tar Heels would win 102-100, but in a 13-18 season with few highlights, Capel’s heave gave hope to the fans in Durham while rocking the Uptempos in style.
No. 1 - Laettner’s Turnaround Jumper Sinks Kentucky in the 1992 Elite Eight
The Player: Christian Laettner
The Sneaker: adidas Bank Shot
Grant Hill passes. Christian Laettner catches, turns and shoots. Thomas Hill cries. Enough said.