Duke's college basketball championships
Duke has won five NCAA men's Division I college basketball championships:
- 2015 (defeated Wisconsin, 68-63)
- 2010 (defeated Butler, 61-59)
- 2001 (defeated Arizona, 82-72)
- 1992 (defeated Michigan, 71-51)
- 1991 (defeated Kansas, 72-65)
The following is a season-by-season look at each of these championships, including stats, rosters, full-game replays and a game-by-game recap of each season.
We begin with the 1990-91 season. After making the Final Four three years in a row, including a national runner-up finish in 1990, Duke won its first-ever national championship in coach Mike Krzyzewski's 11th season in Durham. Led by center Christian Laettner, who averaged roughly 20 points per game, and four players who averaged 11 points per game, the Blue Devils avenged their 30-point loss to UNLV in the 1990 national championship by beating the Rebels in the 1991 Final Four.
Here's everything you need to know about Duke's first national championship team.
Coach: Mike Krzyzewski
Record: 32-7 (11-3)
Conference Finish: 1st
Conference Tournament Finish: Lost in semifinals
NCAA Tournament Seed: No. 2 seed
NCAA Tournament Region: Midwest Region
Duke's roster turnover before the 1990-91 season
Duke lost three of its top four scorers from its 1989-90 team to graduation, while enrolling five freshmen.
Here are the seniors the Blue Devils graduated in 1990:
- Phil Henderson, guard: 18.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists per game
- Alaa Abdelnaby, forward: 15.1 points, 6.6 rebounds per game
- Robert Brickey, forward: 11.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists per game
Here are the freshmen that enrolled at Duke in the fall of 1990:
- Grant Hill, forward
- Antonio Lang, forward
- Marty Clark, guard
- Kenny Blakeney, guard
- Christian Ast, forward
Duke's roster from the 1990-91 season
Duke's player stats from the 1990-91 season
Scroll to the right to view the complete stats.
Duke's AP Top 25 poll rankings from 1990-91
The 1991 NCAA tournament bracket
Duke shocked undefeated UNLV, the defending national champion, in the semifinals before beating Kansas to win the title. Duke lost to UNLV by 30 points in the previous season's championship. Get the 1991 NCAA tournament bracket, scores and more here.
1991 NCAA tournament: Bracket
Duke's complete 1990-91 schedule breakdown
Nov. 14, 1990 — Duke 87, Marquette 74
Duke forced Marquette into 30 turnovers while Christian Laettner scored 24 points with 12 rebounds. "I thought the story of the game was our defense," Mike Krzyzewski said, according to the AP.
Nov. 16, 1990 — Duke 100, Boston College 76
The Blue Devils rattled off 20 consecutive points just minutes into the game as part of a 24-2 run. "Our team played very well, especially on defense," Mike Krzyzewski said, according to the AP. "The last 12 minutes of the first half, I don't think we can play any better than that."
Nov. 21, 1990 — Arkansas 98, Duke 88
In the same calendar year as Duke's Final Four win over Arkansas, the Razorbacks got revenge against the Blue Devils in the Dodge NIT as they turned an 11-point first-half deficit into a 10-point victory. "It was a little chaotic," Mike Krzyzewski, who was called for a rare technical foul in the game, said, according to Gannett News Service.
Nov. 23, 1990 — Duke 85, Notre Dame 77
Duke forced Notre Dame into 15 first-half turnovers and 22 for the game as the Blue Devils built a 19-point lead, including a 10-1 run to end the first half. "Coming off an emotional loss, to be as positive and and to work as hard as we did is encouraging," Mike Krzyzewski said, according to The Record.
Nov. 26, 1990 — Duke 125, East Carolina 82
Twelve different Duke players scored as the Blue Devils routed East Carolina behind Grant Hill and Christian Laettner's 17-point nights with the former making 7-of-8 shots from the field. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski tested out a new starting lineup with Crawford Palmer, 6-9, alongside Laettner in order to give Hill more freedom offensively.
"That's more my game," Hill said, according to The Charlotte Observer. "I feel more comfortable out there. I'm not accustomed to playing with my back to the basket. It was new to me."
Dec. 1, 1990 — Duke 111, Charlotte 94
Duke picked up its 60th consecutive win at Cameron Indoor Stadium in a high-scoring affair. Charlotte had cut Duke's 17-point lead to two, 85-83, with over eight minutes remaining as part of an 25-10 run, but Christian Laettner scored a career-high 37 points. In the second half, Mike Krzyzewski employed a box-and-one defense on Charlotte's Henry Williams, who had 19 points in the first 20 minutes and just three points after that.
Dec. 5, 1990 — Georgetown 79, Duke 74
Playing against Georgetown's imposing front line of Alonzo Mourning and Dikembe Mutombo, Duke shot just 33 percent from the field, including 2-for-14 from deep, as the Hoyas managed 15-0 and 13-1 runs against the Blue Devils. "They just made you think about what you're doing while you take the ball to the basket," Mike Krzyzewski said, according to the AP.
Dec. 8, 1990 — Duke 75, Michigan 68
Duke won ugly in a game that featured 52 combined turnovers, including 27 from Michigan. Grant Hill had a team-high 19 points and eight rebounds against Michigan's zone defense, including 13 in the first half as the Blue Devils made two-thirds of their shots before halftime.
Dec. 19, 1990 — Duke 103, Harvard 61
A year after Duke beat Harvard 130-54, the Blue Devils beat the Crimson by another big margin. Christian Laettner led the way with 24 points and 14 rebounds.
Dec. 22, 1990 — Duke 90, Oklahoma 85
Duke, no stranger to building impressive home winning streaks, was also capable of ending some, too. The Blue Devils ended the Sooners' 51-game, home winning streak as they held Oklahoma's Brent Price to 11 points, just one weekend after he scored 56 in a game. "We never talked about the streak, just the fact that they're a helluva program," Mike Krzyzewski said, according to Knight-Ridder Newspapers. "That's why they won 51 in a row. There's no ogre looking over you in here. It's Oklahoma."
Dec. 29, 1990 — Duke 97, Lehigh 67
Bobby Hurley scored a career-high 20 points as Duke pulled away from pesky Lehigh, which trailed just 44-40 late in the first half. "I give a lot of credit to Lehigh's defense," Mike Krzyzewski said, according to The Morning Call, "but I was disappointed that we were not ready to play. If we're not going to play defense for more than 10 seconds at a time, then they're going to score."
Jan. 2, 1991 — Duke 109, Boston University 55
Playing a Boston University team whose tallest player was just 6-7, Duke rolled, holding the Terriers to 35 percent shooting and forcing 26 turnovers. The Blue Devils led 54-27 at halftime, doubling up the Terriers, then led 69-27 after they started the second half on a 15-0 run. "We lost by more than 50 to a very well-coached, very talented, very disciplined team," Boston University coach Bob Brown said, according to The News and Observer.
Jan. 5, 1991 — Virginia 81, Duke 64
It took Duke almost 18 minutes before a player not named Christian Laettner scored a basket. The Blue Devils committed 24 turnovers, including eight by Bobby Hurley, who along with Thomas Hill and Billy McCaffrey, shot a combined 3-of-17. "Our team was knocked back," Mike Krzyzewski said, according to The Charlotte Observer. "We showed our youth, and we didn't display much poise. Most of that was the result of the pressure Virginia exerts both offensively and defensively."
Jan. 9, 1991 — Duke 98, Georgia Tech 57
Billy McCaffrey scored a career-best 29 points, which was much-needed as Grant Hill was sidelined with a broken nose, while Christian Laettner added 18 and Brian Davis scored 16. "We just played an outstanding basketball game," Mike Krzyzewski said, according to The News and Observer.
Jan. 12, 1991 — Duke 94, Maryland 78
Bobby Hurley and Billy McCaffrey scored a combined 46 points on the road after the Blue Devils endured several tough practices. "I think we're a lot tougher," Duke's Brian Davis said, according to The News and Observer. "Virginia killed us in every facet of the game — doing to us what we usually do to other teams."
Jan. 14, 1991 — Duke 89, Wake Forest 67
Duke used a three-minute run to turn a narrow 32-30 lead into a 49-34 advantage at halftime as the Blue Devils forced the Demon Deacons into six turnovers during that stretch, giving Wake Forest 16 for the half. "I don't know how we can play much better than that," Mike Krzyzewski said, according to The Charlotte Observer.
Jan. 16, 1991 — Duke 83, The Citadel 50
Duke traveled to Charleston, South Carolina, as part of a four-game series in which the Blue Devils agreed to play one road game against The Citadel Bulldogs. Back from injury and wearing a face mask that Mike Krzyzewski said made him look like "the man from Star Trek," Grant Hill scored 13 points in 20 minutes as Duke rolled to victory. "He drove, he dived for loose balls," Krzyzewski said, according to The News and Observer, "without regard for his injury."
Jan. 19, 1991— Duke 74, North Carolina 60
Playing North Carolina for the first time of the 1990-91 season, Duke overcame a 20-10 lead and won by double digits against North Carolina, which had won eight of its previous 11 games in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Jan. 23, 1991 — NC State 95, Duke 89
NC State's Rodney Monroe scored 35 points, while Chris Corchiani had a double-double with 11 points and 14 assists, and the Wolfpack went on an 18-7 run to break a 53-all tie in the second half. NC State shot 63 percent from the field in the win. "I don't know how we can play any better," NC State coach Les Robinson said, according to the Philadelphia Daily News. "Tonight, they showed poise and character. They really played their guts out."
Jan. 26, 1991 — Duke 99, Clemson 70
Greg Koubek, who entered the game averaging 3.7 points and 2.2 rebounds per game, had 14 points and five rebounds in 12 minutes as he helped Duke turn an 11-point deficit into a 10-point advantage by halftime. "I know what Coach wants from me," Koubek said, according to The News and Observer. "It's not just points. It's scrapping and playing hard. It's going after loose balls and getting rebounds."
Jan. 30, 1991 — Duke 77, Georgia Tech 75
Thomas Hill's buzzer-beating layup propelled Duke to a two-point win on the road after Hill had tied the game at 75 but missed a potential go-ahead free throw. "Maybe the biggest play of the game was Greg Koubek extending his body on the floor to get that loose ball," Mike Krzyzewski said, according to the AP.
Feb. 2, 1991 — Duke 90, Notre Dame 77
Notre Dame stuck with Duke for most of the first half, trailing just 28-25, but the Blue Devils rattled off an 18-0 run at the end of the half to blow the game open. "I thought our depth took over and helped with that run," Mike Krzyzewski said, according to The Charlotte Observer. Christian Laettner had 20 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks.
Feb. 7, 1991 — Duke 86, Virginia 74
The Blue Devils avenged their earlier loss to the Cavaliers thanks to 62-percent shooting after halftime, including 16 points from Christian Laettner in the second half as he finished with 22. Duke led by nine at halftime and won by eight.
Feb. 9, 1991 — Duke 101, Maryland 81
Despite committing 17 turnovers in the first half, Maryland committed 15 fouls before halftime and the Terrapins' foul trouble took its toll in the second half. Forward Ever Burns fouled out with 14 minutes to play and point guard Kevin McLinton and center Cedric Lewis had four fouls for most of the second half. Christian Laettner had a 16-point, 13-rebound double-double. "I don't know what we were trying to do in the first half," Mike Krzyzewski said, according to The Charlotte Observer. "I think we tried to win too quickly."
Feb. 10, 1991 — Duke 88, LSU 70
Playing against Shaquille O'Neal and LSU, Duke's Christian Laettner had 24 points to Shaq's 15 as Duke won its sixth game in a row. "We never approached this game as Christian versus Shaquille O'Neal or Duke versus Shaquille," Mike Krzyzewski said, according to the AP. "We have a lot of respect for this team. If you concentrate on one person, you can get in a lot of trouble."
Feb. 13, 1991 — Duke 74, Davidson 39
Davidson led 6-2, then trailed just 13-9 over 11 minutes into the game but Duke ran away, forcing 16 turnovers in the second half and outscored Davidson 50-24 after halftime. "Our depth wore them down," Mike Krzyzewski said, according to The Charlotte Observer.
Feb. 16, 1991 — Wake Forest 86, Duke 77
Wake Forest shot 60 percent in the second half and 56 percent in the game, and while Duke cut the deficit to 66-64 behind Christian Laettner, who had 29 points, but the Blue Devils couldn't pull out the win. "I don't think there's any question that Wake Forest deserved to win," Mike Krzyzewski said, according to the AP.
Feb. 20, 1991 — Duke 72, NC State 65
NC State beat Duke by six in a high-scoring game earlier in the season and the Wolfpack were eyeing another upset, trailing by just two at halftime. Thomas Hill moved into the starting lineup and his late-game baskets secured the win. "He's been clutch all the way, all the way," Mike Krzyzewski said, according to The Charlotte Observer.
Feb. 24, 1991 — Arizona 103, Duke 96 (2OT)
Duke arrived at Arizona's McKale Center, where the Wildcats had won 60 games in a row, and thanks to a double-overtime win, Arizona extended its home winning streak to 61. "The longer it went the better Arizona's chances were," Mike Krzyzewski said, according to the Tuscon Citizen. "They were at home and they are an experienced team." Grant Hill's free throws with 47 seconds left gave Duke a four-point lead but thanks to a stolen inbounds pass, Arizona was able to tie the game and when Duke pulled ahead again, Sean Rooks forced overtime with a banked-in jumper. Controversy ensued after Greg Koubek's 3-pointer in the first overtime was ruled a 2-pointer.
Feb. 27, 1991 — Duke 79, Clemson 62
Christian Laettner made the most of his limited minutes, scoring 17 points in 21 minutes as Duke dropped Clemson to 1-12 in the ACC. The Blue Devils led by as many as 31 points after taking a 43-19 lead at halftime. "If you're Clemson, you come in here and you're ready and if Duke's not ready, you get your confidence level up early," Mike Krzyzewski said, according to The Charlotte Observer. "But we were ready."
March 3, 1991 — Duke 83, North Carolina 77
The Blue Devils completed their season sweep of the Tar Heels after seeing a 19-point lead with 12 minutes to play dwindle in the final minutes. "It was an incredible win for us," Mike Krzyzewski said, according to the Herald & News Wire Services. "We showed good poise for most of the game until we got in foul trouble."
March 9, 1991 (ACC tournament) — Duke 93, NC State 72
Five Duke players scored in double figures, led by Christian Laettner's 20 points, in the ACC tournament semifinals. "We approached the bye very well in that we used it to prepare our team," Mike Krzyewski said, according to the AP. "Let's give credit to our guys that they didn't come in and be tight. They attacked right away. We had a good total team effort."
March 10, 1991 (ACC tournament) — North Carolina 96, Duke 74
After beating North Carolina twice in the regular season, Duke got crushed in the ACC tournament championship game as the Tar Heels quickly built a nine-point lead in less than four minutes. North Carolina's lead ballooned to 18 before halftime as the Tar Heels dominated from start to finish. "After I talked to the team, I put 0-0 on the board," Mike Krzyzewski said, according to The Charlotte Observer. "I told them, 'That's what every team is right now.'"
March 14, 1991 (NCAA tournament) — No. 2 seed Duke 102, No. 15 seed Northeast Louisiana 73
After getting routed in its last game before the NCAA tournament, Duke took just a 46-40 lead into halftime against No. 15 seed Northeast Louisana. But the Blue Devils rattled off a 19-6 run and cruised to a nearly 30-point win. "The first game is always difficult for both teams," Mike Krzyzewski said, according to the Hartford Courant. "If you're human, you've got to be nervous going into the NCAA. After we lost Sunday, we were a little bit tired. We just had to hang in there today."
March 16, 1991 (NCAA tournament) — No. 2 seed Duke 85, No. 7 seed Iowa 70
Christian Laettner scored a team-high 19 points, Thomas Hill chipped in 17 and Grant Hill had a diverse stat line with 14 points and a game-high nine rebounds and six steals as Duke downed No. 7 seed Iowa by 15. "We missed a lot of outside shots but we attacked the rim hard when we broke the press and that's why we got so many close-in shots," Mike Krzyewski said, according to the Quad-City Times. "Our halfcourt offense was getting us some good shots in the first half but we weren't hitting them. Yet, we were still up by 15 points."
March 22, 1991 (NCAA tournament) — No. 2 seed Duke 81, No. 11 seed UConn 67
Duke had a great-shooting game, making 58 percent of its threes and 55 percent of its shots overall, as Christian Laettner scored 19 points and Greg Koubek added 18, including 3-for-5 from deep. Defensively, Duke held UConn's Chris Smith to just 5-for-18 shooting. "It's as physical a basketball game as we've been in," Mike Krzyzewski said, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
March 24, 1991 (NCAA tournament) — No. 2 seed Duke 78, No. 4 seed St. John's 61
Duke's defense stifled St. John's, forcing 26 St. John's turnovers and holding the Red Storm to 43.9 percent shooting. The Blue Devils led 40-27 at halftime and they improved to 28-0 on the season in games in which they led at halftime. "It felt like we kept throwing strength and power at them," Christian Laettner said, according to the Gannett News Service.
March 30, 1991 (NCAA tournament) — No. 2 seed Duke 79, No. 1 seed UNLV 77
"Mike Krzyzewski will no longer be known as the man who lost all the Final Fours," wrote the Associated Press' Jim Litke at the start of his game recap, which had the headline "Krzyzewski slays Final Four demons with win" in The San Bernardino County Sun. In a rematch against UNLV, which destroyed Duke in the previous year's national championship game, the Blue Devils won by two to return to the championship game. It was Duke's fourth year in a row in the Final Four and the fifth time in the last six years. "Just because we beat Vegas doesn't take away from the fact that they are a great basketball team," Mike Krzyzewski said, "We only played one game and I'm not sure if we would beat them again."
April 1, 1991 (NCAA tournament) — No. 2 seed Duke 72, No. 3 seed Kansas 65
Duke won its first-ever national championship (after its fifth Final Four appearance since 1986) as Duke downed Kansas after Mike Krzyzewski got just two hours of sleep after staying up almost all night to watch tape of the Jayhawks. Christian Laettner set a national championship game record, going 12-for-12 from the free-throw line and scoring 18 points, while Bill McCaffrey added 16 points off the bench on 6-for-8 shooting. "I feel good," Mike Krzyzewski said, according to the Hartford Courant. "It's never been a monkey on my back. I always try to keep it in perspective. I'm just really happy for my team. Did you see their faces? That felt so good."
The Blue Devils led by 10 with less than 14 minutes left as part of a 13-4 run as their lead then grew to 14 points. Brian Davis' dunk in the final 30 seconds clinched the victory. Duke took 20 more free throws than Kansas and outscored the Jayhawks 20-4 from the charity stripe.
Individual player awards, honors
- 1991 Final Four Most Outstanding Player
- 1991 consensus Second Team All-American
- 1991 ACC Athlete of the Year
- 1991 First Team All-ACC
- 1991 Third Team All-ACC
- 1991 Third Team All-ACC
Duke players drafted into the NBA
1992 NBA Draft
- No. 3 — Christian Laettner, Minnesota Timberwolves
- No. 48 — Brian Davis, Phoenix Suns
1993 NBA Draft
- No. 7 — Bobby Hurley, Sacramento Kings
- No. 39 — Thomas Hill, Indiana Pacers
1994 NBA Draft
- No. 3 — Grant Hill, Detroit Pistons
- No. 29 — Antonio Lang, Phoenix Suns
1991-92 Duke Blue Devils Quick Facts
Coming off of winning the 1991 national championship, Duke's first, the Blue Devils were nearly perfect in the 1991-92 season, losing just twice all season — by two points at No. 9 North Carolina and by four at Wake Forest — while holding the No. 1 ranking in the AP Top 25 poll all season.
Here's everything you need to know about the 1991-92 Blue Devils.
Coach: Mike Krzyzewski
Record: 34-2 (14-2)
Conference Finish: 1st
Conference Tournament Finish: Conference champion
NCAA Tournament Seed: No. 1 seed
NCAA Tournament Region: East Region
Duke's roster turnover before the 1991-92 season
After winning the 1991 national championship, Duke experienced little roster turnover of consequence. Two players graduated and two transferred but only one of them, guard Bill McCaffrey, ranked among the team's top six scorers.
McCaffrey (11.6 ppg) transferred to Vanderbilt and Crawford Palmer (3.6 ppg, 2.0 rpg) transferred to Dartmouth, forward Greg Koubek (5.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg) and center Clay Buckley (1.4 ppg, 1.1 rpg) graduated.
Duke then enrolled two freshmen in the fall of 1991 — forward Cherokee Parks and center Erik Meek.
Here is Duke's roster from the 1991-92 season
Duke's player stats from the 1991-92 season
Scroll to the right to view the complete stats.
Duke's AP Top 25 poll rankings from 1991-92
The 1992 NCAA tournament bracket
Duke won its second consecutive national championship after beating Michigan in the final. The Blue Devils' run to the title included Christian Laettner's memorable buzzer-beater against Kentucky in the Elite Eight.
Cincinnati and Indiana also made the Final Four. Runner-up Michigan would later vacate its appearance.
Duke's Bobby Hurley was named Most Outstanding Player, while Laettner led the tournament with 115 points.
1992 NCAA tournament: Bracket