The Atlantic Sun Conference is at it again.
The No. 14 seed Mercer Bears scored the biggest upset of the 2014 NCAA tournament, thus far, upending the No. 3 seed Duke Blue Devils 78-71 in Raleigh on Friday afternoon.
With the win, their first in school history, the Bears advance to third-round action in the Midwest Region, where they await the winner of No. 6 seed Massachusetts and No. 11 seed Tennessee.
Mercer (27-8) came out firing and never seemed intimidated by the heavily favored Blue Devils. It was a game of runs, and the Bears matched everything Duke threw at them, hitting clutch shot after clutch shot to remain close or snatch back the lead.
The Bears, making their first tournament appearance since 1985, finished by scoring 20 of the game’s final 28 points to secure the biggest win in school history.
Duke (26-9) lived and died by the three on Friday afternoon. The Blue Devils connected on 15-of-37 shots from behind the arc, but had significant trouble scoring anywhere else and were very shoddy on defense.
Whenever the Blue Devils would go on a run, with a chance to break the game open, the Bears matched them, and with the game close in the final minutes, their senior leaders took over.
Mercer was led by Jakob Gollon with 20 points, including a perfect 9-of-9 from the stripe. Daniel Coursey also added 17 for the Bears, and gave the Blue Devils fits in the paint all game.
Duke was led by Quinn Cook with 23 points, including 21 from behind the arc. Rasheed Sulaimon also dropped 20, but Jabari Parker was limited to 14 on 4-of-14 shooting.