Blog Entry

Podcast: Gene Wojciechowski talks Duke-Kentucky

Posted on: January 6, 2012 9:21 am
By Matt Norlander

Twenty years after Christian Laettner hit arguably the most memorable shot in college basketball history, it's time to look back on that game and ask if it's the best the sport's seen. senior national columnist Gene Wojciechowski wrote the book that is a college writer's dream: a complete chronicle of everything that led up to, produced and fell out from Duke's 104-103 win against Kentucky on March 28, 1992, in the East Regional finals.

Wojciechowski's book, "The Last Great Game: Duke vs. Kentucky and the 2.1 Seconds That Changed College Basketball" is on sale now. Today's podcast is a college hoops junky's dream. I got lost -- in that good way -- just listening to him talk about it. In the middle of a crazy, confounding season, I think you'll love today's podcast. Just storytelling and remember an incredible chapter in college hoops. Can't thank Gene enough for coming on. He's a great writer, a criminally underrated columnist and I can't wait to tear through this book the postman gives it to me.

  • From the beginning: Introducing Gene and how the title got picked; why this was the Last Great Game to date in college basketball.
  • 3:28: Where does George Mason over UConn or Butler vs. Duke fit in? Couldn’t either one of those be a Great game in the grand scheme of the sport?
  • 7:35: Gene was in fact at the game. He takes us back to covering the game and setting the scene.
  • 14:28: Kentucky now isn’t what Kentucky was in 1992. The fact the program got to an Elite Eight game under Rick Pitino is the most overlooked aspect of this game, two decades later.
  • 18:05: How Pitino feels about the game all these years gone.
  • 21:02: One of the most famous stories that surrounds the game comes from something that happened after it ended, with Mike Krzyzewski sitting down to talk on the radio.
  • 24:02: The most random person and best interview Gene got while doing the book, which included more than 100 sit-downs and phoners.
  • 27:20: Christian Laettner as the nerve center of the book and the irony behind this game being the defining game of Duke hoops, despite the fact it didn’t take place at a Final Four.
  • 32:54: So many great sportswriters were in the building that night. Why’d Wojciechowski end up with it. “I shouldn’t have gotten a crack at it,” he says, because the original author for this type of book was someone you wouldn’t ever guess.
  • 35:18: After Gene casually dropped the fact he attended Pearl Jam’s final concert at The Spectrum, back in ’09, I had to get him to talk Vedder and Co. A really cool Vedder story that relates to a bloody Cubs jersey, too.
  • 39:03: The final touches on the podcast — Gene says the subplots of K/Bob Knight and how that year, 1992, a nine-year “cold war” between the two; and this was also the year of the Fab Five, who Duke beat to win back-to-back titles.

You can listen to the College Basketball Podcast every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The podcasts are posted here and simultaneously through iTunes (link below). Each Wednesday national writers Jeff Goodman and Gary Parrish hop on to banter and bicker. Mondays and Fridays are reserved for the most prominent voices in and around the game. Here's the iTunes subcription link. We also have an RSS feed for you to track. I don't believe they are making Zunes anymore, but nonetheless, I've been instructed to link you on how to listen via that device, too.

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Category: NCAAB

Since: Jun 13, 2011
Posted on: January 8, 2012 11:01 pm

Podcast: Gene Wojciechowski talks Duke-Kentucky

Both Duke and UK are great programs and that game was one of the best ever played if not the best. Laetners shot was part of that great game however the stomp to the chest was classless at best. I dont lament the loss to Duke because of anything that Duke did, if you look back Pitino should have put someone tall on the the Duke player throwing the ball in. Any sort of change in the toss could have changed the outcome I have always questioned the wisdom of not pressuring the inbounding player, but Pitino did what he thought was best and hindsightt is always 20/20. Just to be able to have seen such a great game makes me very happy and lucly, although a miss in the last 2.1 seconds of the game would have been nice.

Since: Apr 9, 2007
Posted on: January 7, 2012 11:00 am

Podcast: Gene Wojciechowski talks Duke-Kentucky

This game is what truly brought me to Kentucky Basketball. I was 7 at the time, and I remember watching my dad cry after the game on the couch. This game struck that nerve that forever made me love the sport and also made me Love Kentucky. Also made me hate Duke. If there is a cold war that continues it's between the Kentucky/Duke fanbases. We have only played 2 or 3 times in that 20 years. Next year though Kentucky vs Duke in Catlanta. Great podcast.

Since: Feb 17, 2010
Posted on: January 6, 2012 4:24 pm

Podcast: Gene Wojciechowski talks Duke-Kentucky

The thing most KY fans remember is that Christian Laettner should not even have been in the game after purposly stomping on Timberlakes chest earlier in the game.

Since: Dec 4, 2010
Posted on: January 6, 2012 10:55 am

Podcast: Gene Wojciechowski talks Duke-Kentucky

Yes.  The fact that in '92 Pitino took a team loaded with 'non-athletic' players to the brink of the Final Foul was a result, I think, his best coaching while he was at UK. If he had stayed, a mini UCLA type run was not out of the question. Coach K showed a lot class when he spoke with Caywood Ledford on the radio.

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