Lehigh Scores Biggest Upset in NCAA Tournament History

Jeff KayerCorrespondent IMarch 16, 2012

GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 16:  C.J. McCollum #3 of the Lehigh Mountain Hawks moves the ball against Tyler Thornton #3 and Seth Curry #30 of the Duke Blue Devils in the second half during the second round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Greensboro Coliseum on March 16, 2012 in Greensboro, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

I'm pretty sure the Duke basketball players still have the same blank stare on their faces that we saw when they were exiting the court.

Having been humbled by the Lehigh University Hawks 75-70, the Duke Blue Devils players simply did know how to react.  You didn't see the utter sadness you so often see from players here, who hide their tears in their jersey.

You didn't see anger or even frustration from a team that some had making yet another Final Four appearance.  Instead, it was a group of players simply in a state of shock.

And why not, they're the Duke Blue Devils!  They're a college basketball power that swats teams like Lehigh like an annoying gnat year-in and year-out.  Only five No. 15 seeds had ever beaten a No. 2 seed until today.

Yet it happened twice within three hours, after Norfolk State shocked the world themselves when they beat Missouri, a team that was a popular pick to go to the Final Four.  In fact, Barack Obama, the leader of the free world, even took the Tigers to emerge from the West region.

But despite the fact that Norfolk State did something that no 15 seed had done in over a decade, their win will inexplicably be overshadowed by what Lehigh accomplished.   A team that never had won an NCAA tournament game, the Hawks went toe-to-toe with Duke all night long until they pulled away late.

Yes, there have been other times a No. 2 seed was vanquished this early on.  But it has never been Duke.  Forget the biggest upset in tourney history, this may well be the biggest upset the sports world has seen since the Americans won the Miracle on Ice over the Soviets 32 years ago at the 1980 Olympics.

Frankly, the reaction of the Duke players tonight mirrored what you saw from the Soviets, when the college amateur Americans skated to their end of the ice to celebrate their incredible achievement.  While the Americans embraced each other, the Russians stood at their blue line with a stunned look on their face, with some even looking downright curious as to how it felt to actually lose a game.

It's very unlikely that Lehigh will be able to advance further in this tournament.   But it won't matter.  The upset they pulled tonight will forever be shown in countless montages about the madness of March.

And to think, people were actually complaining about how boring this tournament was. 

After watching one of the biggest upsets you'll ever see, I doubt you'll be hearing those complaints again. 

What are the biggest upsets in sports history?  Let me know and comment!