Get the Athlon Sports Newsletter
Mercer picks up the biggest up set of the Tournament so far ... and celebrates
Dunk City may have only been an appetizer.
The same league that sent Florida Gulf Coast to the NCAA Tournament last year also provided the biggest upset so far when 14th-seeded Mercer took out Duke in the round of 64.
Mercer joined Lehigh, VCU and Eastern Michigan as the only teams in the last 20 years to hand Duke a one-and-done exit from the NCAA Tournament with a 78-71 win in the round of 64 Thursday.
The Bears, though, are not a fluke. Mercer has won back-to-back Atlantic Sun championships and won 78 games the last three seasons. Though the Bears haven’t been able to get to the Tournament until 2014, they have been a dangerous team to programs from major programs, including wins over Ole Miss, Seton Hall, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida State and Georgia Tech in the last three seasons.
None of which compares to Duke, so now, Mercer dances.
The best part of Kevin Canevari’s dance? He’s a senior who has averaged a point per game in his career. He attempted one shot against Duke.
Now, he’s the face of Mercer’s upset. And he’s not the only one excited.
After the upset, Florida Gulf Coast and Lehigh, the No. 15 seed that defeated Duke two years ago, welcomed Mercer to the club of Cinderellas.
Well played, @MercerMBB.— FGCU Men's Hoops (@FGCU_MBB) March 21, 2014
Although Mike Krzyzewski’s team endured one of the biggest flops of the postseason — star wings Rodney Hood and Jabari Parker combined to go 6 of 24 from the field and the Duke defense fell apart — the Blue Devils coach offered his own congratulations.
Mercer locker room stunned into silence as Coach K pops in and congratulates them. "We had to be beaten." Mercer player: "Oh. My. God."— Brian McNally (@bmcnally14) March 21, 2014