20 years ago: Duke knocks off UNLV in NCAA semifinals

Published: Saturday, March 26 2011 11:01 p.m. MDT

Duke, with Christian Laettner sinking two foul shots with 13 seconds left, rocked the Final Four, upsetting defending national champion Nevada-Las Vegas 79-77 to advance to the title game and end the Runnin' Rebels bid for an unbeaten season.

In delivering one of the great NCAA Tournament victories, Duke knocked off a No. 1 team that was bidding to become the first since UCLA (1972-73) to win consecutive titles and the first since Indiana (1976) to go through a season undefeated.

UNLV entered the semifinal riding a 45-game winning streak, including 34 this season.

"It was a great win for Duke and a great loss for UNLV," UNLV Coach Jerry Tarkanian said. "I just feel so bad for the kids. This is the greatest group of kids I've ever been around. I just hurt inside for them."

In other college basketball news, Rick Majerus, who returned to coaching less than a year after having open-heart surgery to guide the University of Utah to the Sweet 16 of this year's NCAA Tournament.

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