Hurley, whose only previous tournament loss was the 1990 title game when he was a freshman, capped his impressive career with a personal-best 32 points.
Jason Kidd and the rest of the California basketball team saw to that by upsetting the two-time defending national champions, 82-77, Saturday in the second round of the Midwest Regional.
While the Bears made the round of 16 for the first time since 1960, Duke failed to advance that far for the first time in eight years.
The Blue Devils (24-8) had been in the previous five Final Fours and six of the last seven. Before Saturday, Mike Krzyzewski had coached them to a 33-5 tournament record since 1986, including 18-1 in the 1990s.
Cal (21-8), which has won 11 of 12 games under the positive reinforcement of 29-year-old coach Todd Bozeman, will meet Kansas (27-6) in St. Louis on Thursday in the regional semifinals.
Kidd, Cal's phenomenal freshman, won a second consecutive game with a wild, one-handed layup.
Duke rallied from a 70-53 deficit to take a 77-76 lead with 2:21 to play. After neither team scored for more than a minute, Kidd tried to pass the ball inside and it was batted away.
But Kidd recovered the loose ball and, falling down after being fouled by Grant Hill, tossed a right-handed shot off the backboard and through the net. Kidd made the free throw for a 79-77 Cal lead.
Kidd, who had 11 points and 14 assists, added another free throw, and Lamond Murray, who scored 28 points on 11-for-17 shooting, hit two foul shots to seal Ca's eighth consecutive victory and hand Duke its first tournament loss since the 1990 final against Nevada Las Vegas.
In the opening-round game last Thursday, it was Kidd who beat Louisiana State with a high-banking layup with one second to play. LSU Coach Dale Brown, however, said the sixth-seeded Bears had no chance to beat the third-seeded, 10th-ranked Blue Devils and that Kidd would be no match for Bobby Hurley, Duke's All-American point guard.
A head coach looking for his first win in the place where he spent years as an assistant; a road team looking for its first victory in Eugene in 30 years; a pair of undefeated teams looking to establish themselves as the #1 challenger to conference top dog USC; potential Heisman candidates on both sides; fourth quarter leads and late comebacks for each; and finally, a thrilling finish with a crazy final twist that seemingly took forever for the instant replay officials to sort out. This game had everything, and the fact that it's only #3 on our list underscores just how epic the top two games were.
And the signal! Touchback!!! It's ours! At least, I think it is. From the signal on the field, we move immediately to one of the longest, tensest, most drawn-out video reviews I can remember. That's the thing about replay...while it's going on, absolutely nothing is happening. No videos or promotions or dot races or anything to distract the fans. The entire game hinges on the outcome of this review, and all we can do is just stand there helplessly and wait for our fate to be decided. Still, in the eternal wait for the final call, Cal fan's confidence starts to grow. The entire end zone starts chanting "That's our ball! That's our ball!" over and over. Looking around the stadium at various Oregon fans, you could tell a lot of them knew it too. If there was hope in their faces at all, it was hope that the refs would get this one wrong, or that they might see something on the replay that hadn't been apparent at full speed.
But then there it is! It's confirmed! Touchback!!! The BEARS are gonna win!!!!! WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! There's jumping and screaming and high-fives and hugging and exhilarated celebration and I don't think any more kisses from my wife's boss, but who knows? It's over! The Bears offense comes out in the victory formation, Nate Longshore takes his place under center to take the final knee, and Cal fans breathe a collective sigh of relief that not only are the Bears 5-0, soon to be ranked No. 3 in the nation, but our starting quarterback has returned and is OK. Nothing can stop us now.
Certainly, nothing stopped the celebration that afternoon and that night. It was an amazing day, an amazing weekend. To actually pull this game out, with all the hype and all the spectacle, to live up to the expectations and win in thrilling fashion with an incredible ending...man, what a game.