1991 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final — Kansas and Duke


By Ron Griffitts

Contributing columnist

On April 1, 1991 in the Hoosier Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana the Duke Blue Devils (31-7) coached by Mike Krzyzewski met the Kansas Jayhawks (27-7) coached by Roy Williams. Krzyzewski was coaching in his third final while this was Roy William’s first. Both coaches went on to be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

Kansas was led by 6’ 2” senior guard Terry Brown (16.0 ppg), 6’ 8” senior forward Mark Randall (15.0 ppg, 6.2 rpg), 5’ 11” sophomore guard Adonis Jordan, (12.5 ppg, 4.5 apg) and 6’ 6’ junior forward Alonzo Jamison (10.4 ppg. 6.4 rpg, 3.6 apg).

Kansas had defeated New Orleans 55-49, Pittsburgh 77-66, Indiana 83-65 and Arkansas 93-81, and in the final four semifinal North Carolina 79-73, to get to the final.

Duke was led by 6’ 11” junior center Christian Laettner (19.8 ppg, 8.7 rpg), 6’ 5” sophomore guard Thomas Hill (11.5 ppg), 6’ 4”sophomore guard Bill McCaffrey (11.6 ppg), 6’ sophomore guard Bobby Hurley (11.3 ppg, 7.4 apg) and 6’ 8” freshman Grant Hill (11.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg).

The Blue Devils got past Louisiana-Monroe 102-73, Iowa 85-70, Connecticut 81-67 and St. John’s 78-61, and in the semifinal UNLV 79-77 to face Kansas in the final.

This was one of those tournaments where the championship game took place in the semifinal and it was between Duke and UNLV. UNLV had defeated Duke for the title the previous year and was heavily favored to win again. But Duke stayed with them and managed to pull out a victory at the end.

UNLV had been the preseason AP #1 ranked team and held that position the entire season. They went into that semifinal game against Duke 34-0.

In the final, Duke led Kansas 42-34 at halftime. Even though they were outscored by one point in the second half, they held on for a 72-65 win for the first of Mike Krzyzewski’s five NCAA titles.

Christian Laettner led the Blue Devils with 18 points and 10 rebounds as he was 12 for 12 from the free throw line. Bobby Hurley added 12 points and 9 assists and Grant hill had 10 points and 8 rebounds as well as two blocks.

For Kansas, Mark Randall had 18 points and 10 rebounds while Terry Brown had 16 points and Adonis Jordan had 11.

Christian Laettner garnered the game MVP. Duke was back the next year in the NCAA final while Kansas returned in 2003.

Statistics for this article were from sports-reference.com.

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