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|Photos: Hurley (Getty), Laettner (Getty), Hill (Getty)|
|Eric Neel predicts ...|
You've got to think of these guys not just as college players but as pros, too. Mark Aguirre averaged 29.5 points one year with Dallas, and 20 over 13 years. He's a seven-time All-Star. Terry Cummings is a career 16 and seven guy. And George Mikan, well, he's George freakin' Mikan, man, he's an all-timer.
Now compare that to the Dukies. Grant Hill's great, when he's healthy. Laettner can do some things, but none of them include rebounding or defending, either at will or when it's really necessary. And Gminski? Dawkins? Banks? Hurley? Them's some college-only style players right there, baby. I just don't see them getting it done. I see Aguirre getting off after Grant rolls his ankle. I see Mikan baby-hooking Gminski into a regression-therapy cocoon. I see Ray Meyer in all his rumpled glory getting carried off the floor in triumph. It'll read like an upset, but it won't be one.
Final score: DePaul 89, Duke 81
|Photos: Mikan (DePaul Univ.), Aguirre (DePaul Univ.), Richardson (DePaul Univ.)|
|Scoop Jackson predicts ...|
Mark Aguirre looks at Christian Laettner during the warm-ups, then looks at his teammate Rod Strickland who then looks at Bobby Hurley. They nod to each other. They know what time it is. Aguirre and Strickland both know there's no way they're going to win this game, but they refuse to go out like suckas. So from the outset, it's hoop dreams. Duke has leads throughout the entire contest, but the show that Aguirre and Strickland put on makes Coach K go over to Ray Meyer and say: "These are the two greatest college basketball players I've ever seen."
Terry Cummings makes a name for himself by holding Laettner to 14 points. But it's Duke's theory of not letting Mikan dominate that stops DePaul from ever really being in the game. In the end, it's all devils in blue. Aguirre finishes with 39, Strickland with 30, Mikan with 20. But DePaul loses by 15. It is the last game Meyer will ever coach. Duke freshman Grant Hill hands him the game ball as the buzzer sounds.
Final score: Duke 110, DePaul 95