Mercer 78, Duke 71: Massive NCAA Tournament Upset

By Jason McIntyre

Mercer 78, Duke 71.

The senior-laden Bears from the Atlantic Sun used a late 10-0 run to stun mighty Duke in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, perhaps ending the college career of Blue Devils star Jabari Parker.

Mercer, the 14th seed, trailed 63-58 with 4:33 left before peeling off 10 straight to grab a lead it would never relinquish. It’s the third embarrassing 1st round exit for Coach K and Duke in the last seven years (VCU in 2007, and Lehigh in 2012).

It’s also the second year in a row a team from the Atlantic Sun – who could forget Florida Gulf Coast? – pulled a massive upset in the first round. Dunk City took down Georgetown last year.

Duke took a staggering 37 three-point attempts. Despite making 15 of them, and collecting 16 offensive rebounds, the Blue Devils were carved up at the defensive end (Mercer shot 55 percent) and Coach K is gone.

Mercer will play the winner of Tennessee/Massachusetts.

So now, we wait: Will Jabari Parker return for his sophomore season?