This Date in Cardinal Hoops: 12-21-00
The tobacco king and the railroad titan would be proud.
Had they time-traveled over a century into the future from the gilded age of which they ruled, Washington Duke and Leland Stanford Sr. would have assuredly approved of all that surrounded their namesake universities on this date eight years ago.
To paraphrase Will Ferrell in "Anchorman," this was kind of a big deal. On a Thursday evening at the Arena in Oakland, Stanford Basketball met the red carpet at the Pete Newell Challenge.
Jim Plunkett, Tiger Woods, Oscar Robertson, Dusty Baker and Tony La Russa joined presidential cabinet member-in-waiting Condoleezza Rice (the Supreme Court had not yet certified the disputed 2000 presidential election) as 10-0 and top-ranked Duke took on the third-rated Cardinal. The aforementioned luminaries were among a sellout crowd 19,804, at the time the largest crowd ever to witness a college hoops game in the state of California.
In a game that featured three-fifths of the 2000-01 AP All-American team, Mike Montgomery's Cardinal (9-0) prevailed 84-83 over the eventual national champion Dukies (10-1), winning in the most dramatic fashion imaginable. With Stanford down a point, Casey Jacobsen – who nearly attended Duke out of high school, but was not offered an opportunity by the Blue Devils – kissed a 10-foot jumper off the glass with 3.6 seconds remaining.
Just 1-24 in their previous meetings against top-ranked teams, the Cardinal rejoiced, having rebounded from a 72-57 deficit with 6:53 to play. Stanford scored on its last 14 possessions to steal the win, ending the game on an improbable 18-7 run.
''One of my favorite shots is that bank, six-foot shot, and I made it,'' Jacobsen said. ''After that, I didn't really know what was happening... Then I just heard a lot of people yelling in my face and jumping on top of me, but I was happy. There will be a new No. 1."
This was a ferocious Duke team. En route to becoming established NBA talents, Shane Battier teamed with Carlos Boozer to form the team's frontcourt muscle. On average, Duke's most recent national champs had forced 18 turnovers, scored over 90 points, and held opponents to around 41 percent shooting from the floor. Save for Florida's back-to-back champions, this was the best college hoops team of the decade.
Against Stanford, Mike Dunleavy Jr. was at times a highlight reel, like when he grabbed a pass in midair and scored on a reverse lay-up.
"This is the best fast-breaking team I've played on," said Battier, who joined point guard teammate Jason (not yet Jay) Williams and Jacobsen on the All-American team at year's end.
The Cardinal countered. Stanford won the conference outright for the second time in three years in 2000-01. Four players - Jarron and Jason Collins, Jacobsen, and the talented but injury-prone Curtis Borchardt - would become NBA first-round picks. The 2000-01 season ended with a 31-3 record (still a school-record for victories). Like the 1999-2000 edition, the Cardinal spent a good chunk of the season ranked No. 1. Jacobsen scored 26 points against Duke, while the Collins twins combined to score 17 in the second half to turn the tide against the Blue Devils.
"This win definitely helps us get that aura," Jacobsen said. "We hadn't played a team like Duke this year. We weren't really sure what we were made of, (or) how we would play when our backs were against the wall."
Duke owned the first 27 minutes. Williams ran Mike McDonald all over the Golden State Warriors' home court, scoring 26 points and keeping the Cardinal point guard in foul trouble throughout. The Cardinal often had no answer for Battier, who had 17 of his 26 points in the first half.
But after drawing fifth fouls on both Battier and Boozer late, Stanford first chipped and then pounded away at Duke's lead. McDonald drained a three-pointer to make it 77-73 with 2:29 to play, erupting a huge roar from the sellout crowd's red-and-white portions and causing Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski to call a time out. McDonald would soon foul out, only to be replaced by the dynamic presence of sophomore guard Julius Barnes (nine points). A Jason Collins hoop in the paint trimmed the Duke lead to 78-77.
"It was just instinct," said Barnes, whose 11-foot jumper in the lane tied the game at 79-79 with 1:11 left. "It felt like being back in high school. You can't play scared or you play like we did in the first half."
Two Chris Duhon foul shots with 34.6 ticks remaining had Duke holding on to an 83-80 lead. Jarron Collins answered (83-82 Devils, 16.9 seconds left). An ensuing foul sent Dunleavy to the free throw stripe with 14.4 seconds to play. The 75% foul-shooter... missed them both.
After moving to midcourt, Stanford called timeout with seven second left. Jacobsen snared the inbounds pass at the top of the key, where he was immediately guarded by Williams.
He dribbled left, where sub Matt Christiansen formed a double-team. In the biggest moment of his college career, Jacobsen turned and lofted a shot that banked off the backboard glass before finding twine. Williams frantically tried to answer by going the length of the floor, only to have his last-ditch lay-in rim out.
"No doubt it was sweet to make that shot against Duke," said a jubilant Jacobsen. "But I wasn't thinking about that at the time. I don't hate Duke. I respect those guys. But there was extra incentive. You always want to play well in a game like this. It was the perfect night."
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