Arizona Basketball

Bobby Hurley has faced Arizona Wildcats before with Duke



Bobby Hurley looks over at Sean Rooks in the double-overtime thriller won by Arizona over Duke 103-96 in 1991 (YouTube screen shot)

Bobby Hurley looks over at Sean Rooks in the double-overtime thriller won by Arizona over Duke 103-96 in 1991 (YouTube screen shot)

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The 2015-16 Pac-12 schedule has yet to be released, so the exact date is unknown, but new ASU basketball coach Bobby Hurley will make his return to McKale Center for the first time in a quarter-century next year.

The only other time Hurley visited Tucson and McKale Center was in 1991, when his Duke team lost 103-96 in a classic double-overtime game against the Wildcats. The Blue Devils were ranked No. 7 and Arizona No. 9. The game was on Feb. 24, 1991, a late-season marquee non-conference game that we do not see in this day and age.

Arizona extended its nation-leading home winning streak to 61 games at the time with the gut-wrenching win over Mike Krzyzewski’s team that included Hurley, Christian Laettner and Grant Hill.

Duke had a two-point lead and the ball in the closing seconds of regulation. Matt Othick deflected a pass by Laettner, enabling Sean Rooks to hit a spinning layup with 3.8 seconds left to tie the score at 78 and force the first overtime.

“I’d sure like to meet the ghost of McKale (Center),” the late Brian Williams, who led Arizona with 24 points, told the Associated Press afterward. “He’s definitely got a jinx on somebody.”

Duke guard Greg Koubek made what appeared to be a three-point shot in the first overtime, but 57 seconds later, the Pac-10 crew of referees ruled that his foot was on the line and awarded him only two points.

Hurley’s three-pointer with 1:15 left in the first overtime tied the game at 86. Hill put Duke ahead 88-86 on two free throws with 29 seconds left. strong>Chris Mills made a 10-foot jumper with 13 seconds left to tie it at 88-88, then almost sank a 12-footer at the buzzer. That miss forced the second overtime.


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Site founder and award-winning sports journalist Javier Morales has published his first e-book, “The Highest Form of Living”, a fiction piece about a young man who overcomes a troubled upbringing without his lost father and wayward mother through basketball and hope. His hope is realized through the sport he loves. Basketball enables him to get past his fears. His experience on the court indirectly brings him closer to his parents in a unique, heartfelt way. Please order it at Amazon (for only $4.99) by clicking on the photo:

The Duke-Arizona boxscore from 1991


Bobby Hurley’s comments about rivalry with Arizona from today’s press conference announcing his hire at ASU:
“I got a feel for it already just brief amout of time been in town. I’ve been through a few of those of myself with Duke and Carolina. It’s going to be a lot of fun. It takes two to tango. … As a competitor, a top competitor, those are they type of games I want to compete in. It will be a lot of fun.”

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Matt Muehlebach scored seven points in the second overtime as the Wildcats (22-5) beat the Blue Devils (23-6). Hurley, who fouled out late in the second overtime, commented afterward to the Associated Press that Muehlebach’s opening three-pointer of that period “was a key basket for them. It gave them the momentum they needed. We weren’t able to come up with the crucial play to get us over the hump.”

Hurley finished with 14 points and eight assists. He made 3 of 7 from three-point range.

Duke went on to win its first national title that year, upsetting unbeaten UNLV in the Final Four, in the process.

The Blue Devils and Hurley outlasted Arizona 78-76 in Cameron Indoor Stadium the year before that 1991 classic.

Hurley left Duke with the NCAA career record for assists. His jersey number 11 hangs from the rafters at Cameron.


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[/ezcol_1half_end] publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He has also written articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.


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