The 2023-24 Duquesne men’s basketball season that culminated with the school’s first appearance in the NCAA tournament in nearly half a century will be memorialized in an upcoming book by three authors close to the team.

The book, “47 Years: The Story of the 2023-24 Duquesne Dukes,” will tell stories of the characters and moments behind the team that captured the national spotlight earlier this year.

Local sportswriters David Finoli and Zachary Weiss and Duquesne University communications professor Robert Healy III have joined forces to write the book.

“The three of us are going to tag-team to tell the story through different lenses of a team that captivated a Duquesne fan base that has been waiting so long to have a winner reach that NCAA Tournament once again,” said Weiss, who has covered Duquesne athletics for years, most recently with Pittsburgh Sports Now.

The title of the book is a nod to Duquesne reaching the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1977. The university’s basketball program had a rich history but was mired in mediocrity for decades.

The 2023-24 team, however, which featured players from several countries and beloved head coach Keith Dambrot in his final season, leveraged solid defense and strong performances from seniors into an improbable tournament run.     

Duquesne started 0-5 in conference play but gained momentum as the season progressed and earned a No. 6 seed in the A10 Tournament. There, the team won four games in five days to become A10 Conference champions, giving the Dukes an automatic spot in the NCAA Tournament. 

“They continued to believe and show resolve in themselves with one common goal, and bit by bit they got the first [conference win], and it was off to the races,” Weiss said. “They found ways to play their best basketball toward the end of conference play, which translated to making history and winning the Atlantic 10 championship and earning the automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament that came with that. Throughout it all, they gained a lot of fans, the university had something to rally behind and really be proud of.”

In the first round of the NCAA Tournament, the No. 11 seed Dukes upset No. 6 seed BYU, winning a tourney game for the first time since 1969 and catapulting Duquesne further into the national spotlight.

The Dukes’ season ended with a loss in the following round to No. 3 seed Illinois, which eventually made it to the Elite Eight.     

The 250-page “47 Years: The Story of the 2023-24 Duquesne Dukes” is expected to be on bookshelves in early November for $19.99.

“There’s something that will attract everybody, whether they’re a Duquesne sports fan, a Pittsburgh sports fan or just somebody interested in a story that has so many different layers that it might put an onion to shame,” Weiss said. “It’s extremely interesting in the lenses of which this is going to be relentlessly pursued.”

Andrew writes about education and more for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at

Andrew Goldstein

Andrew writes about education and more for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at