Blog Entry

Poll: Where does Rivers' shot stack up?

Posted on: February 9, 2012 1:19 am
Edited on: February 9, 2012 1:25 am

By Jeff Borzello

The Duke vs. North Carolina rivalry has had dozens of memorable moments throughout its history. On Wednesday night, Duke freshman Austin Rivers etched his name into Tobacco Road lore with a 25-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer over Tyler Zeller to give the Blue Devils a come-from-behind 85-84 win. As soon as the dust settled, discussions turned to where the shot would rank among the best moments in the history of the rivalry. For the sake of brevity, we’ve narrowed it down to Duke buzzer-beaters – where does Rivers stack up?

2012 – Austin Rivers

As mentioned above, Rivers’ 3-pointer capped a 13-2 run in the final 2:38 to give Duke a shocking win in Chapel Hill. Rivers finished with 29 points and six 3-pointers, with the final one going down in history.

2004 – Chris Duhon

This wasn’t technically a buzzer-beater, but Duhon’s coast-to-coast reverse layup with 6.5 seconds left in overtime gave Duke an 83-81 victory. After Rashad McCants knocked down a 3-pointer to tie the game, Duhon simply raced past the North Carolina defense and then switched hands under the basket to avoid getting blocked. It was a tremendous, yet understated, finish. 

1995 – Jeff Capel

Duke was winless in the ACC heading into this one, but that didn’t matter against North Carolina. Down by three with three seconds left, Duke’s Cherokee Parks grabbed a missed free throw and gave it to Capel, who was able to dribble freely past midcourt and hoist a running 3-pointer to sent it into overtime. Carolina eventually pulled it out, but this was memorable.

1981 – Gene Banks

Much like Capel’s shot, this wasn’t a buzzer-beater to win the game; it sent the game into overtime. On Duke’s Senior Day, Duke was down by two, 58-56, with one second left. Banks received the inbounds pass above the foul line, and he only had time to turnaround and shoot. Duke went on to win the game in overtime. 

So, which one was the best?


Category: NCAAB

Since: Dec 1, 2009
Posted on: February 9, 2012 9:48 pm

Poll: Where does Rivers' shot stack up?

I was in the stands for the 1981 game. That was the most memorable basketball game I have ever attended. From the graduate student section behind the far basket, I could see Banks receive that pass from Denard and then turn to the basket while putting it up. He repeated the performance in overtime for the win.

To top things off, Bruce Springsteen gave a concert in Greensboro that evening. The audience seemed like it was made up mostly of students, and that included large contingents of UNC and Duke people. As an encore, The Boss played Devil with the Blue Dress On. The Duke students in the audience went wild. As he was wrapping up the song, a distinct chant wafted through the Greesnboro Coliseum. Any Duke student will know it ....

Since: Aug 1, 2008
Posted on: February 9, 2012 12:42 pm

Where is Walter Davis ?

Where is Walter Davis' buzzer beater from apox.40 feet to force OT after Carolina came back from 8 points down with only 17 seconds left in regulation & win in overtime !!!!!

Since: Jun 17, 2008
Posted on: February 9, 2012 10:09 am

Poll: Where does Rivers' shot stack up?

This was a poll in search of a story.

We have two "not technically" buzzer beaters and three shots that didn't immediately result in victories. Plus Rivers' shot. In other words, the way I read the poll, in the Duke-NC rivalry, this is the first time a buzzer beater turned a loss into a victory. Duhon's shot broke a tie. It's the closest to the Rivers shot but the game was a TIE when he made the shot. Banks and Capel shots tied the game. And in one of those, Capel's team lost the game in OT.

It's a great rivalry. NOTE TO EDITOR: don't need to trivialize Rivers' shot by trying to compare it to shots that aren't comparable. This was a first. Enjoy it.

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