Seven years ago, when Duke was beat by Eric Maynor and VCU, we said it wouldn’t happen again. When they got beat early by West Virginia the next year, we called it a fluke. Then, when Lehigh took them out in 2012, we said it was all because of C.J. McCollum. Knowing all that, even with ESPN analysts calling the Dukies one of this year’s safest Giants, someone should’ve seen a potential upset coming. In the first game today, the No. 14-seeded Bears took over in the second half to send the No. 3 seed Blue Devils packing, 78-71.
Experience and poise? Who would’ve thought it’d be Duke fumbling it away down the stretch, succumbing to the older, senior-laden Bears? With the Blue Devils up five late, Mercer ran off 11 straight points and never looked back, shutting down the perimeter shot and scoring in the lane on the other side. They ended the game on a 20-8 run. Jakob Gollon dropped 20 points to lead Mercer, as big man Daniel Coursey added 17 while controlling the paint.
Perhaps the craziest stat is that before today, Mercer had never won a game (0-2) in the NCAA tournament. No wonder Anthony White Jr. and Kevin Canevari held an epic dance party afterward.
GIF via SBNation
What do you think?
Follow Sean on Twitter at @SEANesweeney.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.