Top critical review
3 people found this helpful
Hardcore hoops fan (and Duke fan) says: just okay
on December 28, 2012
I vividly remember where I was when I watched this game. After 25+ years of basketball watching, I still find the Duke-UK to be the most dramatic game I've ever watched (or attended). So, picking up this book was a no-brainer.
It was disappointing then that I ended up skimming bits here and there and drumming my fingers. Unless you're really dying to read little snippets of dialog between the players, there really isn't a book's worth of material here. Gene W has definitely done his homework and interviewed numerous participants, but just doesn't have anything super new to add. And his fixed structure (Duke chapter, UK chapter, Duke chapter, UK chapter, ...) leads to silliness like his narrating the game itself twice back-to-back, which really didn't work for me.
All that said, the basic material is amazing: the two teams were extraordinary and the game was truly one for the ages. Hard to muff that up, so I'll still give it 3 stars. Definitely worth a beach read, and won't take you long to rip through it.
One last thing: the portion of the title "... that changed basketball" got my hopes up that this would position the game/teams in the context of basketball history (e.g. there was a great article in SI a couple months ago about the history of basketball offenses, etc). If the title sucked you in also, please be disabused. I didn't walk away with any sense in which the game changed basketball whatsoever. Except maybe that people will guard the inbound passer in such situations, which I already knew (and is pretty shallow).
So yeah, great game, okay book.