In the Final Four game of the 2022 NCAA tournament, Duke lost to UNC and did a hideous thing reminding everyone of the Isiah Thomas, Michael Jordan game from 1991.
Be it with or without anyone’s intention, History repeats itself. But when it’s intentional, it is generally uglier. Sports shouldn’t have any place for any kind of ugliness as it is a symbol of recreation, teamwork, unity, and many more such aspects.
One such aspect is respect. Respecting our teammates, as well as the opponents, is of utmost importance, whatever might be the sport. But time and time again, there are incidents that disgrace the ethics and principles on which a Sport stands.
One such incident happened when the 8th seed UNC took on the 2nd seed Duke in what proved to be Coach K’s last game as the head coach of the latter team. The Duke coach who missed a shot at his 6th title was calm enough to praise and give the due credit to opponents.
“Tonight was a battle,” Krzyzewski said. “It was a game where the winner was going to be joyous and the loser was going to be in agony. That was the type of game we expected. We would have liked to be on the other side of it.”
But his players weren’t as calm and respectful as their coach with 42-years of coaching experience.
Isiah Thomas and Michael Jordan “not shaking hands” reminisced as Duke Players repeat an infamous gesture
Caleb Love’s dagger three-pointer with 28 seconds left on the game clock, followed by a free throw, gave the No. 8 seeded Tar Heels a four-point lead. That helped them pull off the upset in the Final Four game in front of more than 70,500 supporters.
The Duke team lost much more than the match. The game that had the hype to be the “best college basketball of all time” or “the game of the century” suffered a stain that might be remembered much longer for it than as Coach K’s final game.
Much like Isiah Thomas and some of his Detroit Pistons players of 1991, some Duke players after suffering a 77-81 loss on Saturday at Caesars Superdome walked off the court in agony without shaking the hands of any UNC players.
Wow. Most Duke players left the court without shaking hands with UNC players. Sad! pic.twitter.com/3CtwKTMy4O
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) April 3, 2022
That obviously pulled in some responses on Twitter.
Duke pulled an Isiah Thomas v Jordan https://t.co/NVfXiYJkNj
— CLV for Vendetta the Cavsual (@ClvForVendetta) April 3, 2022
DUKE DIDNT SHAKE HANDS!!!! WHAT A PERFECT ENDING. SORE LOSERS!!!!
— Big Cat (@BarstoolBigCat) April 3, 2022
Did Duke not shake hands? pic.twitter.com/YoIBw5CK9U
— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) April 3, 2022