NCAA Tournament 2014: America celebrates Mercer’s upset of Duke

While Coach Mike Krzyzewski and his staff try to figure how his heavily favored Duke Blue Devils fell, 78-71, to 14th-seeded Mercer on Friday, the second time Duke lost to a double-digit seed in the first round in the last three years …

….hordes of college basketball fans changed their tune from “Where is Mercer?” to…

Duke seemingly had no answer inside for Mercer’s post tandem of Jakob Gollon (20 points) and Daniel Coursey (17 points). While Mercer shot 55.6 percent, Duke hoisted 37 three-point attempts and made just seven two-point field goals. The Blue Devils sure could have used the interior play of Duke legend Christian Laettner. Instead, he apparently was on a flight and missed most of the upset.

Coach K became the sixth coach in NCAA tournament history with five losses to double-digit seeds, joining Jim Boeheim, Mike Brey, John Thompson III, Bobby Knight and Bobby Cremins. That stat was cause for celebration among Mercer alum Nancy Grace and Sam Mitchell as well as Bears guard Kevin Canevari, who took to doing some version of the Nay Nay dance.

Naturally, North Carolina alum Kendall Marshall was pretty happy to see his Los Angeles Lakers teammate and Duke alum Ryan Kelly suffer through the loss.

The theory spreading throughout social media is that Duke should have seen an early postseason exit on the horizon. After all, didn’t these two guys show up to the UNC-Duke rivalry game a couple weeks ago?

Brandon Parker is a sports reporter for The Washington Post.
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