The Deacons were also unable to cope with the Blue Devils' one-man zone, which had Gminski roaming the middle while his teammates were in what amounted to man-to-man. Against that configuration Wake never scored two baskets in a row during the first 14 minutes of the second half.
In the postgame hysteria nearly everybody in Duke's blue-and-white colors got a ride on the shoulders of the jubilant crowd. Foster came down long enough to accept his trophy and to express his disbelief at the events that had taken place. "What a difference a year makes," he said. "These guys have taken us from the ACC cellar to the penthouse."
Added Gminski: "I talked to a couple of Duke's All-Americas, Jack Marin and Jeff Mullins, and they told me what it used to be like here. I just hope this means that Duke fans will be able to look back on the 1970s the way they look at the '60s."
With 14 seconds remaining, as Banks was about to make the last of Duke's 85 points, he did a Billy (White Shoes) Johnson dance at the free-throw line. He had to keep stepping lively to get to his locker, because he drew by far the biggest crowd of reporters in the dressing room—probably because, Gminski's statistics aside, those who had closely watched the tournament felt that Banks was really the MVP on this most egalitarian team. When a writer asked, "What are your thoughts on winning such a great tournament?" Philly Gene fired right back, "You mean the NCAAs?"
Which is to say that Duke is on the verge of becoming Duke once more.