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'91 FINAL 4 COULD BE REPLAY OF 1990
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'91 FINAL 4 COULD BE REPLAY OF 1990

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Looking back at this Final Four could well give a preview of what might happen next season.

If all the major players return next season, UNLV, Arkansas, Georgia Tech and Duke could be in Indianapolis for the 1991 Final Four.All have young teams.

Vegas needs Stacey Augmon and Larry Johnson, both juniors, to be back. It is likely both will give consideration to the NBA, especially the 6-foot-7, 240-pound Johnson, whose stock has risen sharply during the tournament. The Rebs lose only David Butler from the starting five.

When asked what he was going to do next year, Johnson replied ``repeat, repeat.'

Tech is hoping Dennis Scott will return, although, like Johnson, the lure of the NBA could be strong. They need to replace Brian Oliver, but have 7-0 Matt Geiger and 6-10 Ivano Newbill coming in and Kenny Anderson coming back.

According to reports, Scott may not be the shoo-in for the NBA some expect. He enjoys college life and his family's financial situation would not dictate a jump to the NBA for the bucks.

Tech could be the preseason pick for No. 1 next fall.

Just about everyone returns for Arkansas, which was said to be ``a year away' when this season started. There is some question whether coach Nolan Richardson will be back. He is a hot commodity right now.

Duke has the most holes to fill, losing Robert Brickey, Alaa Abdelnaby and Phil Henderson.

But Coach Mike Krzyzewski has proven he can continue to win and win big with different teams.

There were a lot of sad numbers coming out of McNichols Arena Monday night, the saddest being the 103-73 on the scoreboard.

The winning margin was the largest in NCAA championship history, and it means Duke has allowed the three highest point totals in history.

The Devils gave up 98 to UCLA in 1964 and 94 to Kentucky in 1978.

And Duke has now finished as the NCAA runner-up four times, tying arch-rival North Carolina.

Duke has now been to the Final Four eight times without a title, tops (or bottoms) in the NCAA.

Although no ``official' records are kept, there may have been another Monday night when two officials - Richie Ballesteros and Ed Hightower - tripped and fell.

Ballesteros took a nasty fall in front of the Duke bench, but gracefully sprang to his feet and made an out of bounds call.

Hightower stumbled backwards over the crush of photographers at one end of the arena.

One of the slogans for this year's UNLV team was ``Just Do It.'

When they entered the press interview room Monday night, Larry Johnson, Greg Anthony and Anderson Hunt wore hats that said ``Just Did It.'

Quick shot.

According to official statistics, UNLV got off a shot every 10.3 seconds against Duke.

Duke got off a shot every 10.5 seconds.

Or was that a turnover every 10.5?

Duke's performance was reminiscent of the Blue Devils' Final Four appearance in 1966, when star guard Bob Verga was under the weather and played with a fever.

Duke lost to Kentucky in the semifinals.

Freshman guard Bobby Hurley was slowed by a cold and sore throat last week. He had trouble breathing against Vegas.

But he wasn't sure if some of that was due to UNLV's defense.

``I've never been in a game where we've been ambushed like that,' Hurley said.

``We had a chance to do something special, but they didn't allow us to do it.'

Monday night's game was listed as a sellout - 17,765 - but there were some empty seats, several of them in what had been the Arkansas section.

Arkansas fans apparently tore up their tickets rather than sell them to fans of Duke and Vegas.

A columnist for the Denver Post called the Arkansas fans cheapskates and bad tippers.

Several Arkansas fans went to the newspaper office to complain.

In a retraction of sorts Tuesday, the columnist apologized by saying he ``is sorry that some Arkansans think leaving two percent is a big tip. But they should learn that you don't indicate your team is No. 1 with your middle finger.'

Now that UNLV has won the national championship, folks are wondering if the the Runnin' Rebs will become the second team to go on probation after winning the title.

Kansas, after beating Oklahoma in 1988, was placed on three years probation. The NCAA is still looking at UNLV, a process that seems to have been going on since the game was invented.

Something is expected to be resolved this summer.

Jerry Tarkanian, whose encounters with the NCAA are well documented, was asked Monday night if winning the title and getting the trophy from NCAA executive director Dick Schultz was ``sweet revenge.'

``It was not revenge,' Tarkanian said, ``but it was sweet.'

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