Wednesday, April 5, 2017

D is for Duke, The Dream Team, & Don't Let the Sun... (2017 Blogging A to Z)

Welcome to my '92 Time Capsule, where I unearth artifacts and memories from a quarter century ago in alphabetical order everyday (excluding Sundays, with the exception of the 30th) during the month of April. 

Today's letter is D, so here we go...






On April 6, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Duke defeated Michigan 71-51 to win the 1992 NCAA Division 1 Men's Basketball Championship. Coached by Mike Krzyzewski, it was the second consecutive national championship for the Blue Devils.




According to many sources, the 1992 tournament is best remembered for the last minute buzzer-beater jumper by Christian Laettner that gave the Blue Devils the win over Kentucky 104-103 in the Elite 8 matchup.  



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Speaking of Christian Laettner, he was the only college player on the 1992 USA Men's Olympic Basketball Team.  In previous Olympiads, only amateur players were allowed to participate.  That rule was overturned in the late 80s, thus opening the door for professional to play in Barcelona.  

In 1992, the USA Men's Olympic Basketball Team featured 11 professional players from the NBA and Mr. Laettner from Duke.  The team was dubbed The Dream Team and that team has been described by numerous sports writers as one of the "greatest sports teams ever assembled."


The team's roster consisted of:  Charles Barkley (Phoenix Suns), Larry Bird (Boston Celtics), Clyde Drexler (Portland Trail Blazers), Patrick Ewing (New York Knicks), Magic Johnson (free agent), Michael Jordan (Chicago Bulls), Christian Laettner (Duke University), Karly Malone (Utah Jazz), Chris Mullin (Golden State Warriors), Scottie Pippen (Chicago Bulls) David Robinson (San Antonio Spurs), and John Stockton (Utah Jazz).

The team was coached by Chuck Daly (Detroit Pistons).  Assistant coaches were: Lenny Wilkens (Cleveland Cavaliers), P. J. Carlesimo (Seton Hall), and Mike Krzyzewsky (Duke).

On July 5, the Dream Team defeated Venezuela 127-80 in the gold medal game. The minimum point differential in any of the six games  they played in the tournament was 38 when they defeated Puerto Rico 119-81.  If you're curious, the maximum points they defeated a team by was 79 when they defeated Cuba 136-57. 



One last little tidbit about this historic team, apparently the head coach never called a time out during the entire Olympic tournament.


~~~

Alright, enough talk about basketball.  I have been, after all, a March Madness Widow for the past three weeks.  

Allow me to leave you with a little musical pièce de résistance.  "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," performed by Elton John and George Michael, came in at #26 on the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 Singles chart for 1992.  Enjoy!



On a personal note, I don't have any memories of the Duke/Michigan game.  I do remember The Dream Team because of all the hype surrounding them and because they basically blew all of their opponents out of the water, but I don't think I watched any of the games.  As for the Laettner shot...  I had no idea about this buzzer beater until I married a member of Big Blue Nation (avid Kentucky fan) who remembers that shot all too well and who is still a little bitter about it.  

Do you have any memories of either of these sporting events?  As always, thanks for stopping by!





11 comments:

  1. I don't follow sports so I have no clue of any of sports-related news unless it involves movies.

    ah yes, "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me", I only heard this song after it was released years later but it was one of my favorite songs, I think this duet version is better than the solo.

    have a lovely day.

    my D post: Drafts

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    1. I agree with you, I prefer the Elton John/George Michael duet version much better than any other version. It's such a shame about George Michael. What a fabulous voice! Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. I have no idea on sports so I do not know any one, but Elton John and George Michael!
    Good post!

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  3. I don't follow March Madness or basketball in general, but I did as a child, and I had that Dream Team poster (with them all sitting) on my bedroom wall! My favorite was Charles Barkley because we were both short(er) basketball players! And George Michael... so sad :'( Though I think my guiltiest pleasure of his is Careless Whisper!

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    1. That's pretty interesting that you had The Dream Team on your wall! I am totally with you about Careless Whisper! Man, what a song!

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  4. The Dream Team was huge in my world. I looked at the picture (without reading the names listed by you) and could name everyone except I'd forgotten Chris Mullin's name.
    The Elton/George collaboration was/is still brilliant.

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    1. Totally agree! The collaboration was brilliant! That's the best word for it!

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  5. it bothered me so much that we went to using dream teams; i'm always reminded of the eighties when our men's hockey team, college kids, beat the russians, professionals masquerading as amateurs. we've become no better. even our swim team, which is AMAZING, and i always love to see them do their thing, but they're not amateurs. they're not. of course, i want us to win, too, so i'm conflicted.

    and that song, i've always LOVED that song.

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    1. I have conflicting feeling about pros playing the Olympics, too. The song is timeless, an absolute classic...

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