I’ve never really heard of this until I started to read posts on The Duke Basketball Report. They have a great article there that quotes year after year what happens to teams the year after they beat Duke in the tourney. It is staggering which begs the question, is it worth beating Duke?
For those who may not know, the Duke Curse was discovered by Julio and his
brother the Scientific Tuba Player, who realized it’s great power at Indianapolis in 1991, asking Jerry Tarkanian if beating Duke was really worth it. As events have proven since, it is not. Consider the evidence:
– 1984, Washington. The next year they played in Durham and were so riddled with injuries that Detlelf Schrempf had to play point guard. A long decline ensued and their German connection dried up.
– 1985, Boston College, lost coach Gary Williams soon thereafter to Ohio State. Program revived long enough to beat UNC, then self-destructed and lost Jim O’ Brien to…Ohio State.
– 1986, Louisville: A long, slow descent followed, complete with probation.Crum finally run off. In 2005, Rick Pitino finally got the Cards back to the Final Four.
– 1987, Indiana: A painful down period until 1992 Final Four (where they lost to…..Duke). Controversial coach Bob Knight forced out in 2001 (see below).
– 1988, Kansas: Probation, lost coach.
– 1989, Seton Hall: slow decline ensued, finally arrested by Tommy Amaker, who almost got them to the Elite Eight.
– 1990, Vegas. Lost rematch, lost coach, lost most prestige, got Rollie Massimino
– 1991 – Duke wins title.
– 1992 – Duke wins title.
– 1993, Cal. Probation, lost coach, big scandal, big stinking mess.
– 1994, Arkansas: a small probation, faded for several years, Nolan Richardson fired in bizarre sequence of events.
– 1995 n/a
-1996, Eastern Michigan: Lost coach (to Cal), faded from view, not heard from since. Bonus Curse: Ben Braun fired at Cal in 2008.
– 1997, Providence: Program peaked, fell, lost coach to UVa. Bonus Curse: Pete Gillen fired after a dismal run at Virginia
– 1998, Kentucky: Lost players to hardship in ‘98, draft, transfers at the end of ‘99, a rash of serious auto related problems. In 2001-02, chemistry problems and Jason Parker injury doomed the ‘Cats. .
– 1999, UConn: El-Amin arrested for marijuana possession, Hamilton left, two car/image problems. Doug Wrenn arrested for alleged shoplifting before the season, suspended twice. El-Amin suffers a critical injury in tournament, team loses to Tennessee in NCAAs. Wrenn kicked off team after a post-season arrest. – 2000/2001, Florida: lost Mike Miller and Donnell Harvey to the NBA. Had a series of injuries the following season. Knocked out early in tournament two years in a row. Teddy Dupay implicated in gambling scandal, kicked off team.
– 2001 – Duke wins title.
– 2001 – UConn flames out in regular season, can’t even make the NCAA field.
– 2002 – Indiana loses Jared Jeffries to early entry.
-2003 – Kansas loses head coach Roy Williams to UNC – 2003 – Former UConn star Khalid El-Amin loses case, ordered to pay $54,000for beating man.
– 2004 – Indiana’s loses forwards Patrick Ewing, Jr., and Sean Kline, to injuries. George Leach has struggled with injuries as well. Indiana finishes at14-15.
– 2004- Ben Gordon leaves UConn for NBA
– 2005 – Indiana finishes
15-14. Mike Davis retained, but told he must win more. The entire state of Indiana misses the tournament.
– 2005 – UConn assistant coach Clyde Vaughan arrested for solicitation,.Antonio Kellogg arrested for marijuana, Charlie Villanueva leaves after twoyears for the NBA. UConn lost to N.C. State in the tournament after Denham Brown said they “were used to losing” and wouldn’t be able to handle being down to UConn.
– 2005 – Kansas loses to Bucknell in the first round. Bucknell had atotal of five scholarship players on the roster.
2005/2006 – UConn’s Marcus Williams and A.J. Price busted for trying to sell
hot laptops. The Huskies, overwhelming favorites for the title, go on to lose to
– 2006 – LSU defeats Duke. 2008 – John Brady fired in mid-season.
– 2007 – VCU – Florida A.D. was in the air to hire Athony Grant after BillyDonovan’s bizarre NBA career lasted a weekend or so. After he decided to bolt back to Gainesville, the A.D. flew straight back and never offered Grant the job.
– 2007 – Tubby Smith leaves Kentucky under pressure. In the fall, Kentucky loses at home to Gardner- Webb in an all-time low for the program.
– 2008 – Bob Huggins trips at the airport and ends up at the hospital.