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The Last Great Game: Duke vs. Kentucky and the 2.1 Seconds That Changed Basketball
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The Last Great Game: Duke vs. Kentucky and the 2.1 Seconds That Changed Basketball

4.28 of 5 stars 4.28  ·  rating details  ·  1,080 ratings  ·  84 reviews

The definitive book on the greatest game in the history of college basketball, and the dramatic road both teams took to get there.

March 28, 1992. The final of the NCAA East Regional, Duke vs. Kentucky. The 17,848 at the Spectrum in Philadelphia and the millions watching on TV could say they saw the greatest game and the greatest shot in the history of college basketball

Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 5th 2012 by Blue Rider Press
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First, full disclosure: As a Duke fan I had to read this book. And as long as it ended with the score the same as it was 20 years ago, I was going to be pretty satisfied with it. However, I agree with the many reviewers who have said that this book is completely readable for Kentucky fans or college basketball fans in general.

Looking at the book objectively, here are some things I liked and didn't like.
* It read basically like an extended Sports Illustrated article, so it went down pretty easy.
When Sean Woods banked in his shot to put Kentucky up 1 with 2.1 seconds left in the game I was ecstatic. It was 1992 and I was 11 years old. I lived and died Kentucky basketball. I could recite the player introductions, their numbers, their heights, and their hometowns from memory. And in that moment in my parent's living room I was having the best moment of my life. We were going to go to the first Final 4 that I would remember!

And then, well you know what happened. I remember sitting in front
College team sports can make for great drama. I think I learned this mostly from reading John Feinstein books over the years. Sure, you have guys who are good or great athletes, and to compete at that level, they have to be unusually driven. And you also have competition – in this case, at a level that's highly visible. Add to that mix the fact that these are effectively young kids who inevitably have a lot of learning and growing to do, the storyteller can follow several dramas unfolding, on an ...more
Rick Hosey


I have to say that I enjoyed the book. Being a Kentucky fan I have never watched a replay of the game and always turn my head every March when the damn shot is shown during March Madness. It was time to get over it and appreciate the game for what it was.

David Ward
The Last Great Game: Duke vs. Kentucky and the 2.1 Seconds That Changed Basketball by Gene Wojciechowski (Blue Rider Press 2012)(Nonfiction - sports) is a fabulous book about college basketball. I've always thought of the game in question as the greatest game (and the greatest shot) that I've ever seen. Grant Hill inbounds the ball - throws three-quarters court to Christian Laettner at the opposing foul line - Laettener catches the ball, he turns, he shoots over two Kentucky defenders, and it's. ...more
Fascinating and ultrareadable behind-the-scenes look at THE game and THE shot. Great choice for all for college basketball fans, but as a warning to my fellow Kentucky fans, after all these years, it still kinda hurts.
This is a great sports read in every sense. The story of the players, coaches and supporters of Duke and Kentucky, as well as the 1992 East Regional Final itself lends itself to a fantastic retelling, but Wojciechowski does it justice. The pacing of the books works wells, balancing background of the players, coaches and teams, providing good build up. You can tell that Wojciechowski had great access to the key people involved in the game, because I really came to understand the context of the ga ...more
I liked this book a lot. But I didn’t love it. It’s a pet peeve more than anything, but I have an issue with sports books that have grandiose titles where the book didn’t live up to the title, and sports books that think they’re only about sports reporting and not about theory. If you posit a theory in the title, then you need to prove it in the book. For me, that was the frustrating thing about this book.

First, let’s talk about what this book was, because it was an enjoyable read. This was a g
This was not a good book. First of all, it wasn’t really a book. It was more like a collection of essays about the Duke and Kentucky basketball programs. It was cohesive in that everything led toward the classic 1992 East Regional Final played between the two teams, but The Last Great Game was a very disjointed read.

Let me talk about that title, The Last Great Game: Duke vs. Kentucky and the 2.1 Seconds that Changed Basketball, for a bit: The Last Great Game: The primary title suggests that the
As a six year old, I remember watching this entire game live. I remember running up and down my parent's hallway when Laetner's shot went through the net. It was the reason that I became a Duke fan. Over the years since, I have learned a lot more about the Duke team but this is the most in-depth description of both teams that I have seen.

The book attempts to explain the personalities and relationships of each of the players and coaches involved in the game.

This is also one of the first detailed
Tom Gase
This book was good and a fun read but I didn't give it five stars, I gave it four for a couple reasons. It was an entertaining and well-researched book that brought me back to 1988 through 1992. College basketball was a lot more enjoyable to watch back then, when players stayed at a minimum of two years and most of the good ones stayed three to four years. So you could watch a season and the next year see some familiar faces. That doesn't really happen in college basketball anymore. I really rem ...more
Lora King
Ok, I'm a die-hard Duke fan, my husband was one of the original blue faced Cameron Crazies from 1982...but I have to say whether you hate or love Duke basketball this is an outstanding sports book about a once in a lifetime game. Duke was the perfect storm 9n 1992. They shut up the ever mouthy Kentucky obsessive fans and then simply outclassed the Michigan five (no way I'll call them fabulous). Wojciechowski writes with as much respect and passion for both KY and Duke programs. Players come aliv ...more
Holly Cline
"I'd like to," said Pelphrey, as his eyes welled with tears, "but I can'"

Such is the agony of defeat. It doesn't matter how many times this game is shown on ESPN Classic. I still feel so badly for Kentucky's Unforgettables. But underdog stories wouldn't be so inspiring and beloved if they happened everyday, would they? Most times, Goliath still wins.

I think this book does a very good job of setting the stage for the game. We're given enough background on the path to the regional final f
This is a fantastic book. I had read a few articles that said KY fans would not want to read this but as a born and bred wildcat it's one of the best sports books I've EVER read. The book goes into detail on Coach K and Pitino as they got started in coaching and most of the players on both teams for the 3-4 years leading up to the game. I was only 14 when the game was played and although I remember watching it, I don't remember all of the things that led up to it. The "Unforgettables" and their ...more
Bravo! This book is an extraordinary account of one of college basketball's greatest games. The author does a spectacular job of describing the detailed backgrounds of both Duke and Kentucky's historic franchises. Each basketball player, coach, and assistant's personality come alive in the pages of the book. This is a gripping, suspenseful tale of two different teams: one coming back from NCAA sanctions; the other team, looking to defend its national title of 1991. Fresh and full of first hand a ...more
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; please 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 problem
Chris Kawakita
I, for one, never hated Christian Laettner. Also, I’m no Duke-hater. In fact, I once owned a pair of Duke basketball shorts that I picked up during a visit to their beautiful campus. My favorite school teams were Georgia Tech and Michigan, but ultimately I was a fan of college basketball, and few teams were as memorable and skilled as the Blue Devils squad that featured Laettner, Grant Hill, and Bobby Hurley.

And so Gene Wojciechowski’s book The Last Great Game—an in-depth account of Duke’s and K
As an NC State fan who grew up sympathizing with the Dookies, the 1991-1992 Duke teams represent the glory days of college basketball for me. I'll never forget being at home and watching this game with my parents. I was heartbroken when Sean Woods' shot gave the lead to UK and overcome with joy when Laettner's shot went in. This book gives some really terrific background to all the players, coaches, and administrators for both schools. It makes my memories of the game all the more rich knowing e ...more
Duke and Kentucky have long been significant programs in the fabric that is D-1 college basketball. Their matchup in the 1992 Eastern Regional Final is among the greatest games ever contested in any sport. In The Last Great Game, the rise of both programs are dissected juxtaposed against the game.
Parker F
I grew up in Kentucky and remember being devastated when Christian Laettner hit that infamous shot. After my twenty years of grief, I opted for immersion therapy. Amazingly, this book gave me a vicarious thrill on behalf of Laettner and the rest of the Duke team. This thrill came just a chapter after I similarly and foolishly relished reading about Kentucky's near-certain game winner with 2.1 seconds left. To evoke catharsis from a story that has become a mundane bit of sports history is sportsw ...more
Cj galvan
this book was a very great book it broke down the 2.1 seconds in the duke Kentucky game gene wojciechowski was in the areana and said there was nothing like any atmostpare he said that it was the best game he ever attended
A great appetizer for March Madness. As the definitive replay of that incredible Duke-Kentucky 1992 East Regional final, this book is a winner. Most. Exciting. Game. Ever! Full disclosure: my son and mother are Duke grads. My son was in grade school in `92, but this game was definitely mentioned in his Duke application years later. A game where the kids played their hearts out on both sides. With the stakes high- talent, timing, luck, and passions were off the charts. It demonstrated the true me ...more
Thomas Wyneken
No loser

No loser

I have loved both teams from the late 70's for UK. COACH K for long time. Great insight for the close coaching family.
Feb 26, 2012 Erin rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: sports
Gene Wojciechowski tells the kind of story and writes in the way that I hope to one day emulate. It's amazing that after having watched the 2.1 seconds in question and read 250 pages leading up to it, I was still in suspense waiting for the outcome of the Duke-Kentucky game of 1992. He's a fantastic writer and it's a fantastic story. I learned a lot about the Duke and Kentucky programs as well as a lot of great players. It's so interesting to see what goes into the mentality of these athletes. T ...more
Jan Dillard
As a Duke fan who recalls screaming at the TV from inches away on all fours during this game, the book was a delightful return to that moment. It had a bit too much Kentucky for my taste, but I think that was based on my expectations (from a Duke-centric universe!). The amount of research that went into the book, and the number of interviews and perspectives is really what makes the book a great read. From former players, coaches around the league, announcers, and referees to those on the court ...more

This was an absolutely fantastic book and I am not saying that because I am a Duke fan. Although I remember exactly where I was as an 11 year old girl on March 28th, 1992 watching this game, I love the way Wojciechoski dissects the roads both these two teams took to get to the best college basketball game ever. I have a new found appreciation for Kentucky basketball and the Unforgettables. And it makes me love Hurly, Laettner, T. Hill, G. Jill, and Davis that much more. They were incredible guy
Of course I loved it. I'm a Dukie. But even Kentucky fans and other Duke haters will enjoy this look inside 2 great programs, and a great game. I hadn't realized what a likeable bunch that Kentucky group was, and I just don't remember the match up being so David & Goliath, with Duke as Goliath (bad analogy, since Duke actually won, I know).

Had I gotten more scholarship money, I would likely have been at this game (and several final fours) playing in the band rather than watching from my dorm
David Barney
Great book. I really liked all of the lead up history of the game and the people. Well researched and presented in a wonder way.
Rachel Morley
Being a huge Duke basketball fan, I remember this all too well and the book does a great job of taking you right back to the games. I felt like I was back at my old apartment laying on the floor with my fingers crossed and hands over my face but peaking through my fingers to see what actually happened. I'm still not sure if my neighbors below me ever forgave me for all the jumping and screaming I did! I loved the back stories on both teams - interesting, intriguing, heartwarming, funny. I also b ...more
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