Posted: 2:37 pm Friday, March 21st, 2014

The madness! Mercer shows Duke no mercy! 

By Mark Bradley

The Bears are still dancing. (Gerry Broome/AP photo)

The Bears are still dancing. (Gerry Broome/AP photo)

Wish I could say I saw it coming, but I didn’t quite. I thought Mercer could play with Duke, which isn’t the same as beating Duke. Lo and behold …

Mercer 78, Duke 71.

And it wasn’t, at least not on this day, a fluke. Mercer was the better team throughout. Truth to tell, this was among Mike Kzyzewski’s worst coaching jobs. He took a team with Jabari Parker, Rodney Hood and Rasheed Sulaimon and didn’t win the ACC regular-season title, didn’t win the conference tournament and didn’t last past the first full round of the Big Dance. It’s not often we can call a Duke team badly coached, but this one wasn’t cut from the usual K cloth.

As for Mercer: We saw again the value of seniors and seasoning and cohesion. The Bears weren’t addled when Duke pulled ahead at the nine-minute mark, and by the end the little team from Macon was makin’ hay. (Sorry. Couldn’t resist.) Mercer was getting — and making — better shots, and if one of those hoity-toity ACC schools in need of a coach (Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, Boston College) aren’t moved to give Bob Hoffman a ring … well, there’s no justice in this world.

With 20 seconds left, the unthinkable even happened: Mercer got a call — a non-call, actually — against the team and the coach who supposedly get every call. Quinn Cook stole the ball in backcourt and got tripped with Duke five points behind, but no foul was assessed. When last did that happen? Sometime last century?

Again, I wish I’d had the nerve to pick this upset, but I didn’t. Can’t say I didn’t enjoy watching it unfold, though.

73 comments
C_Nicole
C_Nicole

March Madness is the greatest moment in basketball

GT71
GT71

Yeah, Mercer saved $1billion for the biggest hypocrit in America - one Warren Buffett.

Hey, Warren, why not just give that  bil to the US Treasury so your buddy Barrack can spend it in about 15 seconds.  On useless eco-crap.

DallasJack
DallasJack

No game blog for the Mercer game? This is the team representing Georgia. It should have constant online coverage. 

Anyway, Go Bears!

Arkiefl
Arkiefl

When it comes to sports, I have to give the AJC an "F". Here we are in the middle of March Madness and this newspaper does nothing to show the brackets or the scores of what's going on in the tournament. 


Your sports reporting is very, very narrow minded. If a team isn't from Atlanta or Georgia, you offer nothing in the way of stories or highlights. MLB will be starting their season in a few weeks. Will you offer any kind of forecast or outlook for the season? Most quality newspapers in major US cities do big spreads at such junctures in the sports world. 


Terrible, narrow minded reporting!

DawgNole
DawgNole

Thomas Brown: ". . . Why is Mark Richt # 5 most wins any college FBS 1-A then 2001-2013 ? . . . Why did he beat # 23 Vanderbilt 2013 ? . . . ." 2/6/14

ThomasBrown at 10:01 a.m. Nov. 3, 2013

. . . I now update my prediction for UGA 2013 to 10-3 with the # 1 Strength of Schedule . . .

Missouri, who has not beat anyone, loses to Texas A and M . . .

FSU remains on the outside looking in.

ThomasBrown at 5:35 a.m. Nov. 2, 2013
. . . FSU is so good with # 68 Strength of Schedule that they CANNOT make BCS Title game . . . .

Buzz-Off at 8:44 p.m. Nov. 21, 2013

Fact, Thomas Brown is off his meds. Does anyone even read his manic rants?

WDE at 9:58 a.m. Nov. 21, 2013

Oh ThomasBrown . . . you have always been a buffoon and I fear your best work is yet to come . . . .

TheOldGuy at 11:21 a.m. Nov. 11, 2013
Sounds like ThomasBrown has a little crush on Aaron Murray the was he keeps up with his stats and life.
Guess ThomasBrown would like to be his girlfriend.

THEBuckeye at 1:05 p.m. Nov. 11, 2013

tom brown,

SHUT UP!!!!

gtcaryd at 7:09 a.m. Nov. 6, 2013
Thomas is calling someone else a bully, thats rich.

Rounder at 8:56 a.m. Nov. 3, 2013

ahhhh Thomas Brown, I see the asylum is missing an inmate this morning.

PaulinNH at 2:45 p.m. Oct. 27, 2013

The problem trying to reason with an insane person (Thomas Brown) is they don't realize they are crazy.


Shall we go on, ThomAss?


Armydawg
Armydawg

1987 Mercer grad here.  I almost fell out of the car when I heard MU beat dUKe.  Now its that team in Knoxville.  GO BEARS!!!!!

ThomasBrownUGA
ThomasBrownUGA

5-4 ACC

5-0 SEC


NCAA Tournament.


Syracuse 3-seed ousted by 11-seed.

Duke 3-seed ousted by 11-seed

Pittsburgh routed 61-45


Duke RPI # 8 beat by # 80 RPI Mercer University

Syracuse RPI # 16 beat by # 43 RPI Dayton


Yeah, right the ACC is not over-rated in men's basketball.


Ah, B.S. on the ACC.


Before all this mess began in the NCAA Men's Tournament this season, the ACC was the # 5 Conference


# 5 RPI Conference ACC before this HORRID ACC showing 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament


How again is # 5 RPI Conference the # 1 Conference ?


How is 5-4 Big Dance the # 1 Conference ?


How are two different ACC # 3 seeds both losing to 11-seeds the # 1 Conference ?


Tell me again, JSSN ?

ThomasBrownUGA
ThomasBrownUGA

DawgNole September 5th, 2012  5:22 pm

“I’m on a Tech blog because I follow Tech and pull for the Jackets in all games except those with UGA and FSU.”

DawgNole January 4th, 2013 6:13 pm

"Half of me pulled for the Dawgs, half for the Noles–depending on the game situation. Mixed feelings, torn, and still don’t know who I’d pull for if they play again."

DawgNole at 8:00 p.m. Dec. 6, 2013

“True that, TB--then and now.”

DawgNole January 5th, 2013 10:38 pm

_________________________________________________

“You’re the only one who appears to have an issue with that.”

_________________________________________________

Swamp Thing September 3rd, 2012 4:54 pm

“DawgNole (which end is the Dawg and which end is the Nole?)”

Keith355
Keith355

Hey Mark!


I am a current Mercer grad student here in Atlanta.  My wife is alum from UVA.  We thought, "when we get the opportunity to see both our schools play on the same day in the same place?"  Yeah, we thought probably won't happen again.


Raleigh-bound tomorrow! =)


Go BEARS and CAVS!!!

HowlinDawg
HowlinDawg

I  haven't laughed this hard in years. Really, not this hard since Notre Dame lost to Northwestern in football. 


I laugh a lot. Too much for many people. 


But in the history of college athletics, this is a rare jewel of humor. 


Wish I was in Durham this weekend to witness the humiliation and shame ... and I'd watch it all with a poker face ... laughing, laughing, laughing. 

MesaDawg
MesaDawg

Warren Buffet, I think your money is safe. 

MoistDawg
MoistDawg

duke should know better then to mess with georgia boys. today we are all mercer!  today we are all moist!

mumd
mumd

Go Bears!  Pres Underwood and his staff have got it going on at Mercer.  The best D1 basketball program in the state over the past few years (check records, post season, etc).  5-1 against SEC in past 3 years and wining record or .500 against ACC and Big East.  Baseball made top 25 ranking and regionals, and golf probably as good as the state's big boys this year too.  Sure football is not at the top top level but you can't argue with our start up success last year.  And we will keep our coaches, thank you.

ThomasBrownUGA
ThomasBrownUGA

Georgie tek, on NCAA Probation in Men's Basketball today, had a LOSING RECORD this season. 


Mercer has won 27 games and beat Duke # 8 RPI, who were a 20-point favorite.


Georgie tek's RPI is # 157.

ThomasBrownUGA
ThomasBrownUGA

Mercer


St. Louis


both better than the ACC


Mercer beating Duke


St. Louis beating North Carolina State


SEC is 4-0.

ThomasBrownUGA
ThomasBrownUGA

RPI # 80 beat RPI # 8 handily.  Mercer has won 24, 27, and 27 games latest 3 years scoring 80 points a game, going 11-deep with the 6-man rotation all getting double-digit points per game, and the 2nd wave of 5 more all getting another 5 points each per game.


Hawkins Arena was built a few years' ago and is great for basketball, all press conferences all sports, conference championship tournaments, commencement, and great concerts.  The cost in 2014 dollars is $ 50 million dollars.


University of Georgia cannot, and Mercer University can, build themselves a new gym to attract recruits from Atlanta, Savannah, Macon, North Carolina, South Carolina, up North and out West to name just a few of the kids attracted to the great gym at great expense.


No, they are not a fluke - not winning 78-71.


Bob Hoffman, a fine Christian himself, was a stand-out swing man in college at basketball scoring 1,017 points in college before taking a women's team to the national championship.

GT71
GT71

Way to go Mercer!  No one likes Duke except Dukies themselves.  But they do love themselves too, so they have Duke basketball, their Moms and themselves - all they need...or will get.

So here's to a win and a loss - the only ACC loss most all ACC fans greet with something akin to glee.

And I'm betting this loss ruined Obama's bracket - another benefit.

58Supersports
58Supersports

Loved every minute of game...Duke was out coached an out played. GREAT Job MERCER!!!

cloudodust
cloudodust

All is right in the world. Way to go Mercer. Tihs ain't D-1 football. In basketball,  all things are possible and I'm pleased. Love it...Bust the brackets....

Princess_Leia
Princess_Leia

Congrats to Mercer. They were an awesome team today!

BrookhavenGuy
BrookhavenGuy

Mark - agreed it was not a good coaching job by Coach K or the rest of the staff this season


But as far as the Duke gets all the calls meme, those days are long gone


Mercer shot 28 free throws today - Duke shot 13


Glad you enjoyed the game - Duke fans will carry on somehow with the top recruiting class coming in next year

1991UGA
1991UGA

If Tech and UGA could keep a team together and develop it until they have five starting seniors, that would make a huge difference in their programs.

MoistDawg
MoistDawg

congrats to mercer.  you made the state proud. we should make there students honorary dawgs for the night!

slydawg
slydawg

As I've stated before: Mark Fox and Brian Gregory are good coaches but they can't take teams to the next level. In basketball, matchups and strategy are more important than raw talent. It's the opposite of football, a contact sport where the physical nature dominates 9 out if 10 times. Georgia and Georgia Tech don't exactly have chop liver on the roster, last I checked. Put Hoffman at Georgia and Hunter at Tech and you'll see a turn around. They win with what they have....

Iluvnutella
Iluvnutella

love Duke, but I think coach K is atakin a turn round the ben. To be 68 and say outright he doesn't die his hair, the way he harasses refs (ala Bobby Knight), makes m believe his mind aint all there anymore. Either that or he is one angry lil man...............Good job Mercer! You make Ga proud!

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

Great win for Mercer, love an underdog.

POV1948
POV1948

Duke was laid Bear.  

JaySly
JaySly

all those 5 star studs and duke loses to lowly mercer??? what a joke!  coach K doesn't have it anymore--he should have take the lakers job a few years ago for 15 million / year.

SinceVince
SinceVince

Take note Mark Fox and Georgia Tech......  I bet the kool drinkers are squirming.....

jacketbacker
jacketbacker

Big congrats to Mercer! Never sad to see Duke lose.....


Go Bears!

GT71
GT71

@Arkiefl Yes sir, the worst paper in America has the worst sports as an integral component of the crud that is the AJC.

If it's there at all, it's hard to find.  When found, it's often wrong.

Atlanta is too big to be a 1-paper town.

Are you listening, Rupert?

ThomasBrownUGA
ThomasBrownUGA

@mumd


Please share more with us from your viewpoint please, about your new gym $ 40 million dollars 2004, Hawkins Arena and the Food Court there, ok mumd ?  Love to hear the story from your view of the fantastic facility and what you've been to there ?

ThomasBrownUGA
ThomasBrownUGA

@BrookhavenGuy


Duke had 12 crucial turnovers, while Mercer played more error-free.


Duke shot 62 shots making 22.


Mercer shot 45 shots making 25.


Why did Duke lose ?


Because Bob Hoffman plays 11-man rotation and wore Duke down, who really never plays more than 6-man rotation.

GT71
GT71

@1991UGA You got that right.  Course, even with 8 4-year guys, Mercer might beat us.  But you gotta love Mercer today.

JaySly
JaySly

@slydawg if they are "good" coaches, why arent't they winning more games?

kls82883
kls82883

@FoSho  So a guy loses one game and he suddenly doesn't have it anymore? Ahh the ignorance. . . Only on the AJC blogs.

BrookhavenGuy
BrookhavenGuy

@ThomasBrown @BrookhavenGuyI agree Mercer was the better team and deserved to win.  I was responding to Mark Bradley pulling out the tired cliche about Duke getting all the calls - fans who do not start watching college basketball until St. Patrick's Day every year may believe that but Mark knows better.

And I agree Coach Hoffman outcoached Coach K (whom, to his credit, Mark Bradley has described as being surpassed only by John Wooden as a college basketball coach).  For whatever reason(s) this season was not up to Coach K's usual coaching standards.

Congrats on the win and good luck on Sunday.    

GT71
GT71

@SupersizeThatOrder-mutt @MoistDawgToday is a day for the state of GA to celebrate - together.  Let's not bring front/back of paychecks up.  Wait till tomorrow...well, at least till noon?

Anyway, THWG.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@kls82883

K will just have to console himself with the 4 NCAA championships, 2 Olympic Gold Medals, 11 Final Fours, membership of the Naismith Hall of Fame, and soon to be 1000 wins