UNLV Beats Duke in Final Four
The 1990 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament involved 64 schools playing in single-elimination play to determine the national champion of men's NCAA Division I college basketball.
It began on March 15, 1990, and ended with the championship game on April 2 in Denver, Colorado. A total of 63 games were played.
UNLV, coached by Jerry Tarkanian, won the national title with a 103-73 victory in the final game over Duke, coached by Mike Krzyzewski. Anderson Hunt of UNLV was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
This tournament is also remembered for an emotional run by Loyola Marymount in the West Regional. In the semifinals of the West Coast Conference tournament, Lions star forward Hank Gathers collapsed and died due to a heart condition. The WCC tournament was immediately suspended, with the regular-season champion Lions given the conference's automatic bid. The team went on to score surprise wins over New Mexico State, a 34-point thrashing of defending national champion Michigan, and Alabama before running into UNLV in the regional final. Gathers' childhood friend Bo Kimble, the team's undisputed floor leader in the wake of the tragedy, paid tribute to his friend by attempting his first free throw in each game left-handed despite being right-handed. (Gathers was right-handed, but struggled so much with free throws that he tried shooting them left-handed for a time.) Kimble made all of his left-handed attempts in the tournament.
Jerry "The Shark" Tarkanian and his UNLV Runnin' Rebels walloped Duke by a record 30 points in the NCAA Championship Game to become the first team ranked Number 1 in the pre-season to win the title since North Carolina in 1982.