Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Dook-Carolina, Old-Style

People say they remember where they were when John Kennedy was shot or when the towers fell. I remember where I was for Carolina's Senior Day in 1984, as they tried to finish the regular season undefeated for the first time under Dean Smith. I was watching at my friend Dirk's house south of Chapel Hill and as the Heels fell behind with seconds left, I walked out onto the front porch, unable to watch anymore. So I heard, rather than saw, Matt Doherty dribble the length of the court and pop a shot before the buzzer to put them into overtime. Two overtimes later, UNC had the win and the undefeated regular season, setting us up for one of the most disappointing post-seasons in UNC history. The loss to Duke in the ACC Tournament and the eventual loss to Indiana short of the regional finals were crushing, but they unfairly overshadow what a fun team that was to watch. And Matt Doherty's dribble and shot are up there with Dudley Bradley steal and dunk at the end of the State/Carolina game in Raleigh in 1979 as the greatest Carolina plays that I only heard as they happened.

People focus on Jordan, Perkins, Daugherty and Kenny Smith (four eventual NBA all-stars) on that team and rightfully so, along with now-underrated Matt Doherty. But they also had a bench, with Steve Hale stepping up while Smith was out with a wrist injury, Buzz Peterson coming in for pre-3-point-line jumpers and freshman Joe Wolf providing good minutes inside. Duke was a younger version of K's first Final Four team two years later, with Dawkins, Alarie, Bilas, David Henderson and Tommy Amaker. It was great to watch again (J does NOT understand why I'd watch a 25-year-old game) - next up is the 1992 "Bloody Montross" game! :-)



At 2:53 PM, Blogger Lex Alexander said...

Ah, yes, the Montross "I'll be back. [Bleep] Dook!" game.


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