Duke was barely a year removed from what's now colloquially known as the Dock Shot—Sean Dockery's buzzer-beating 45-footer to beat Virginia Tech in Cameron Indoor Stadium in 2005—when Dave McClure gave the Cameron Crazies another highlight they wouldn't forget anytime soon.
The Blue Devils led Clemson by five points with just more than five seconds left in the teams' matchup in Cameron Jan. 25, 2007. Then, Clemson's Vernon Hamilton hi a layup to cut the deficit to three. On the ensuing inbound pass, Josh McRoberts threw a perfect pass to Hamilton, camping out behind the 3-point line. Hamilton's 3-pointer dropped just as surely as McRoberts' errant pass had found his hands, and in the matter of seconds, Duke's five-point lead was gone.
With 4.4 seconds left, McRoberts again was forced to inbound under his own basket. This time, he found Jon Scheyer outside the arc. Scheyer took three dribbles to halfcourt, then whipped a no-look pass to McClure, who was cutting from the 3-point line in front of the Duke bench to the basket. McClure caught the pass in stride and threw up a finger-roll just before time ran out. The layup swished in. There was joy in Krzyzewskiville.
It was the high point of a lowly season, and it's one of those Duke Basketball moments that remains seared in my memory. I remember exactly where I was when the team piled on McClure, and I can visualize the next day's front page of The Chronicle, which screamed "McCLUTCH" in the top right corner, reserved for the day's biggest news.
McClure, who will be honored before No. 7 Duke meets No. 24 Florida State Tuesday at 8:05 p.m., still has a clear recollection of the shot, too.
"The Clemson game definitely stands out," McClure said. "Obviously, [Dockery], when he hit the big shot against Virginia Tech. Those are things that build rivalries.... Just those little things that help create the big picture. It's an unbelievable environment, unbelievable memories, but the little things help to make it truly what it is."