Teammates congratulate Matt Lewis (1) after a successful 2-pointer during the game on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021. James Madison won the game 78-63. 

JMU men’s basketball is off to a hot start in CAA play this year. After being predicted to finish near the bottom of the conference, the Dukes have won seven consecutive games and are atop the CAA with an 8-1 conference record. This is the best nine-game start for JMU since the 1991-92 squad that started 9-0. Let’s remember what happened the last time the Dukes were this good.

George H.W. Bush was president

The former Texas representative and vice president to Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush was the 41st president of the U.S. in 1992. In February, Bush met with Russian President Boris Yeltsen to formally announce that the Cold War was over. In November, Bush lost his reelection campaign to Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton.

Ronald E. Carrier was JMU’s president

Serving from 1971-98, Ronald E. Carrier was JMU’s president the last time the Dukes were at least 8-1 in conference. Carrier presided over JMU as it grew in size and reputation, and is largely credited with the vision and formation of East Campus. During his tenure, the Convocation Center on East Campus was built, with basketball starting play there in 1982. Carrier Library on main campus is named for him. 

JMU men’s soccer reaches NCAA Tournament

In 1992, JMU men’s soccer had a fantastic season. The Dukes went 17-4-1 and 5-1-1 in the CAA and won the conference tournament. They outscored their opponents 61-19 and shut out 12 teams. It kickstarted a stretch where JMU made the NCAA Tournament in five consecutive seasons.  

Washington Redskins win Super Bowl

On Jan. 26, the then-named Washington Redskins defeated the Buffalo Bills to win their third Super Bowl. Led by quarterback Mark Rypien and former JMU wide receiver Gary Clark, the Redskins jumped out to a 17-0 halftime lead from which the Bills wouldn’t recover. Rypien completed 18 of 33 passes for 292 yards and two touchdowns, and he was named the MVP. At the time, Washington became the fourth team to win at least three Super Bowls.

Duke wins national championship

Led by future NBA players Grant Hill and Christian Laettner, the Duke Blue Devils won the national title. Duke’s tournament run that year is best remembered by Hill’s pass to Laettner and Laettner’s subsequent buzzer-beater that gave the Blue Devils a 104-103 victory over Kentucky in the Elite Eight. With a 71-51 victory over Michigan in the title game, the Blue Devils became the first team since UCLA from 1967-73 to repeat as national champs.

Bulls repeat as NBA champions

In 1992 the Chicago Bulls became the fourth NBA team to win back-to-back championships, defeating the Portland Trail Blazers in six games. Led by Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, the Bulls had the best regular season record in the league and marched to the championship. Jordan was named Finals MVP as he scored nearly 36 points per game and shot over 52% from the floor.

USA Dream Team takes over Barcelona Olympics

The 1992 USA men’s Olympic basketball team — nicknamed the “Dream Team” — was the first American Olympic team to feature active pro athletes and is considered one of the greatest sports teams in U.S. sports history. Featuring several Hall-of-Famers, the team won its games by an average of 44 points en route to the gold medal. The team has been inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame.

Blue Jays win World Series

In the first World Series played outside of the U.S, the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Atlanta Braves in six games. Led by outfielders Joe Carter and Dave Winfield, Toronto finished with the second-best record in the American League and marched to the World Series. Catcher Pat Borders was named the World Series MVP, hitting .450 with one home run in the six games.

“Aladdin” is highest-grossing movie, “Silence of the Lambs” wins Best Picture

The animated Disney movie “Aladdin,” starring Scott Weigner as the titular character and Robin Williams as the Genie, was released in 1992 and was the highest grossing movie of the year, at just over $500 million. The horror movie “Silence of the Lambs,” starring Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Hannibal Lecter, won five Oscars, including Best Actor for Hopkins and Best Picture.

“Smells Like Teen Spirit” rises to top of charts

Although released at the end of 1991, Nirvana’s hit song “Smells Like Teen Spirit” became a big hit in 1992. The song hit No. 1 on several charts in multiple countries, and reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was nominated for two Grammys and is considered one of the greatest rock songs of all time. 

Internet starts to become available to general public

After being used primarily for the military the previous 30 years, the internet started to become available for the general public in the early 1990s. Within years, millions around the globe had access to the internet. The Internet Society was founded in 1992 to provide leadership and try to ensure that everyone in the world had open access to the World Wide Web. 

The Dukes will hope to continue their hot stretch on Feb. 26 when they welcome Drexel to the Atlantic Union Bank Center. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m.

UPDATE (Feb. 22, 2:36): JMU men's basketball's game against Drexel was originally scheduled for Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. It has been moved to Feb. 26 at 4 p.m. The article has been updated with the new date and tip-off time. 

Contact Joshua Gingrich at gingrihj@dukes.jmu.edu. For more sports coverage, follow the sports desk on Twitter @TheBreezeSports.