Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski did not expect to be heading back to North Carolina before the first weekend of the tournament. The Blue Devils ran into an experienced and hungry Mercer team, and the end result was what could very well go down as the most shocking upset of the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Say what you will about Coach K, but he loses with class.
Immediately after his team’s 78-71 loss, Coach K visited the Mercer locker room to congratulate the Bears on a hard-fought victory.
“If we got beaten, at least we got beaten by a hell of a basketball team,” Coach K told the Bears, per USA Today’s Nicole Auerbach.
Krzyzewski had more high praise for Mercer during his postgame press conference.
“I want to wish Mercer the very best,” he said. “I love the game, and when the game’s played really well — I hope it’s us that’s playing it — but when it’s the other team, you applaud it. I applaud Mercer. They were absolutely terrific today.”
The Blue Devils relied on 3-pointers all game long and knocked down 15 of them, but they couldn’t make enough down the stretch to get the job done. Coach K had to be incredibly disappointed and watching the opposition dance like fools probably didn’t help, but we applaud him for losing with dignity.
Photo: Twitter/Nicole Auerbach