As you can guess, I am a big sports fan, especially when it comes to college basketball, and even more especially when it comes to the University of Kentucky. Living in Memphis, this is not a popular school, though in my defense I have been a fan for over 20 years now...
Which brings me to this book - The Last Great Game, the story of the 1992 NCAA tournament regional final between Duke and Kentucky, called by many the greatest college game ever. It was the first game I really remember watching from start to finish, and, sadly, the first (and only) game I ever cried over when it ended.
Gene Wojciechowski clearly did a lot of research for this book, interviewing the coaches, players, and even athletic directors involved in the game. The back story is what honestly makes the game that much better: Duke, a perennial Final Four team from the last 80's an early 90's that never could win the title; and Kentucky, a once-proud program stripped of its dignity by, well, not following NCAA law and getting caught. With a rag-tag group of Kentuckians and a star recruit Jamal Mashburn, Rick Pitino led his team from NCAA purgatory (and postseason bans) to one of the best teams in the country with a pressing defense and run-and-gun offense. Duke, meanwhile, was led its iconic Coach K and its star big man
This was a great, fun, easy read, even if the ending is terrible... ok, ok, I'll try to let it go. In all seriousness, this really was a great book to read. I enjoyed every chapter and every story. If you have a sports fan in your life, chances are they know this game, so buy them the book to see the story behind the game.
Thanks for stopping by!