The NCAA tournament is good for dramatic surprises every year. My bracket was helped dramatically by a few early round surprises, but no one saw Duke falling to Mercer. Afterall, the Blue Devils are coached by a living legend, arguably the greatest living coach still in the game.
And, nobody thought Duke would fall in their first game two years straight. But they did, as a small Baptist school in south Georgia called Mercer took them down.
Now, fans of another small school in Georgia think Mercer “owns” Duke.
If Mercer and Duke played ten times, Duke would win at least eight. Any thinking Mercer fan knows that, and understands that in order to win Mercer had to play at an unreal level and Duke had to contribute their “C” game. Friday’s 14 – 3 seed matchup shouldn’t have been close.
But it was, and in an improbable turn of events, a team with little or no basketball tradition or championships to speak of took down one of the most storied programs in the history of the game.
Sound familiar? I’m trying to put my finger on where I’ve heard this scenario before, but in another sport…
The difference is, Mercer fans don’t have their heads supplanted squarely in their nether region, claiming that Coach K is now “scared” of their brand of basketball.
No, Mercer fans are enjoying the moment, and they should…their team played out of their shoes and earned an incredible win. All while Duke fans pack up and lick their wounds.
But fans of both schools know the chances of Coach K ever losing to Mercer again are slim and none.
Again, that scenario sounds strangely familiar.