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Filling the Void: The Shot, or the Christian Laettner Game

You can watch this game 1,000 times. It’s still Christian Laettner’s best game of all time.

Duke Sucks by Bradley P Johnson is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Filling the Void: The Shot, or the Christian Laettner Game

Estimated Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Having a hard time with this whole “social distancing” thing? Yeah – us too. Especially when it comes to the lack of sports. So, we here at The Turf thought we’d offer a way to help ease the pain and suffering. While we may not have any of the current sports leagues to watch live, there is PLENTY of archive footage available at our fingertips. We’ve scoured the internet and assembled some of the most iconic, noteworthy and remarkable sporting events we could find. We also found some mundane, run of the mill matches and contests, that seemed banal at first watch. However, at this point, we’ll take anything that resembles sports, right? Each day, we’ll feature one of the contests and provide you a link where you can relive the glory, exhilaration, and thrill from the comfort of your couch.

Today: The Christian Laettner game from the 1992 NCAA Tournament. You know, THAT game.

This is the greatest college basketball game of all-time. Fight me. It’s incredible, seamless and downright adrenaline-fueled. This is the golden age of college basketball and it’s the pinnacle of Christian Laettner’s dominant college career with the Duke Blue Devils.

Duke and Kentucky are facing off in the Eastern Regional Finals with the winning team advancing to the Final Four, with the winner eventually facing off against the University of Michigan’s Fab Five.

Ahead of the NCAA Tournament Duke solidified their top-dog status with a 32-2 record, finding themselves atop the NCAA rankings at the number 1 spot. On their way to the Eastern Final, the Blue Devils have disposed of their opponents handily. The closest a team got to taking down the #1 seed was Seton Hall during the Sweet Sixteen matchup against Seton Hall, who lost by 12 points.

Kentucky has had a different experience in the NCAA tournament. The nation’s 6th ranked team found themselves a #2 seed in the East, and fought off two solid opponents in the last two round. Their last opponent was a surging powerhouse Massachusetts team, the #3 seed in the East, coached by future Wildcats legend John Calipari. Still, Kentucky has earned their seat the table vying for a shot at the NCAA Tournament hardware.

This game was much closer than Duke would have liked, but looking back it’s an incredible story that unfolds before us. At the half, the Wildcats were down by 5, as Duke took the lead into the locker room. Duke wasn’t unaccustomed to being up by single-digits at the break, as Seton Hall finished the first half of their game within 6 points.

The insane thing about this game is that up until this point in the game, Christian Laettner has not missed a single shot. In fact, at the end of this game, Christian Laettner will have shot 100%. 10/10 from the field and 10/10 from the charity stripe. Speaking of free throws, Laettner shot two of them after getting a technical foul, that really should have led to his ejection.

That’s right, some college basketball fans believe that Christian Laettner, the soon-to-be hero of this game, shouldn’t even be playing in the overtime period.

After drawing a foul from Aminu Timberlake, Laettner stepped on Timberlake’s chest drawing whistles from the refs. After refusing to eject Laettner, the Blue Devil legend drains his two free throws.

This game is insane and it could have belonged to many different people. We came inches away from this being the Bobby Hurley game or even the Grant Hill game. Hell, on the other side of the court was Jamal Washburn, who was ON FIRE. But this game will forever belong to the greatest, most-hated college basketball player of all time.

That’s Christian Laettner.

Oh, and the overtime period is legendary, but I’ll let you enjoy that for yourself.

Justin Colombo is a 2017 Broadway Show Softball League All-Star at 3B/SS. He's essentially the Manny Machado of the Kinky Boots team. Justin has been writing about Baseball since he was a little kid. Now that being an actor in NYC has given him a lot of free time, in 2015 he decided to take his passion public and founded Three Up, Three Down as a way to express his love for the game. From there, Three Up, Three Down grew from a hobby to an obsession. After years of growth and one insult from MLB's Historian, Justin launched The Turf, a way to expand into all areas of the sporting world. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter. LET'S. GO. METS.

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