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The Last Great Game: Duke Vs. Kentucky And The 2.1 Seconds That Changed Basketball (2012)

by Gene Wojciechowski(Favorite Author)
4.27 of 5 Votes: 5
039915857X (ISBN13: 9780399158575)
Blue Rider Press
review 1: Full Disclosure: I am a huge Duke fan and have watched them win two national championships (92, 01) in person. Wojciechowski has perfectly captured the essence of the magical UK-Duke matchup while giving insight into the coaches and players that made it the most memorable game since the Miracle on Ice. The book also highlighted how different college basketball was just 20 years ago. In the current landscape the major powers rotate players through so quickly fans don't have the time to develop strong feelings for most of them. The days of 4 year college stars are gone and this book made me miss them immensely.
review 2: This book is about the most thrilling game that I've ever seen, which was won by my all-time favorite sports team (yes, I'm a Duke fan; pleas
... moree don't hold that against me). It goes behind the scenes with many characters from the golden days of my sports fandom, focusing on my favorite sport of those golden days. If any book had an easy path to a five star rating, it was this one. Yet I only give it four.That's right, this is an almost entirely negative four star review. There are a lot of problems with this book. I'll touch on a couple, but really the biggest problem is that the author bit off more than he could chew. Or perhaps, he bit off more than his editor would allow him to chew. The author sets out to give meaningful background regarding all of the key players, coaches and administrators involved in that game. He also touches on other great teams of that era (most notably, UNLV and Michigan). And he does so in 291 pages. Simply impossible. To do that, he'd need literally twice that number. Or, alternately, he could cut back on much of the extraneous material, including some of Duke's '90 and '91 seasons. I really think the book should have focused much more on just the one game itself. Second complaint - this book does very little to describe actual basketball. If you had never seen Christian Laettner, Jamal Mashburn or Bobby Hurley play, you'd learn nothing of their playing styles from reading the book (though you would learn a bunch about their personalities/work ethics, etc.).Third, the book is subtitled "Duke vs. Kentucky and the 2.1 Seconds That Changed Basketball." Yet it did nothing to explain how it changed basketball. OK, all of those negatives out, this book really took me back. I loved Duke. I really loved watching Bobby Hurley play. And I remember this game vividly. I remember reclining on my family's fuzzy brown lazy boy while my parents were out at a party or dinner. I remember spooning down a near-bottomless bowl of cookies and cream. I remember the intensity of the game being almost overwhelming. I remember being filled with adrenaline. I remember Laettner placing his foot on Timberlake (c'mon, "stomp" is a bit much). I remember Woods's floater pulled straight out of his butt. I remember being utterly despondent. And I remember running like a wild Banshee through my house when the shot went in. I must have re-watched the shot fifty times that night alone. It was truly the best that sports can give. Oh, and I remember Coach K's class throughout. I really loved that. So in sum, the great game, and the great age of college hoops, redeem the book and help it overcome its inherent flaws. Certainly a recommended read. less
Reviews (see all)
Good book, very interesting detail about both programs and the stories that lead up to that game.
4.5 stars...very good read...if the ending had been different it would have been perfect! :)
Good subject matter, although the book is just okay. Average, espn.com level writing
Almost makes you feel like you were a part of both programs. Very good read
As a Kentucky fan, this was a tough book to read, but it's very good.
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