The Laettner Shot
It was the Dream Season. Then, it came to a nightmarish end.
In 1990, UConn basketball transformed from Big East also-ran into national power. The Huskies stormed through the regular season at 28-5, captured the Big East championship, and earned the school’s first-ever No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. But UConn fans were about to experience the heartbreak that comes with the madness of March–at the hands of one of college basketball’s most reviled villains.
Two days earlier, the Huskies had survived an all-time classic of a game against Clemson, winning on a Tate George shot from the baseline at the buzzer.
But after leading 3rd-seeded Duke 78-77 with 2.6 seconds to go, UConn watched as Christian Laettner buried the less-famous of his NCAA Tournament buzzer-beaters, ending the dream.
Duke went on to play in the national championship game that year, and then won it all in 1991 and ’92, thanks to a more famous shot by Christian Laettner at the buzzer in the 1992 Elite Eight. Though the Huskies would get their revenge against Mike Kryzyzewski and the Blue Devils nine years later in the NCAA championship game, the 1990 team will always wonder what might have been. You gotta hate Christian Laettner.