The Duke men’s basketball team was expected to go deep into the NCAA tournament this year, but got knocked out after a shocking loss last night.
The mighty Duke Blue Devils, one week ago crowned ACC tournament champions and discussed as a probable No. 1 seed, were handed a a stunning loss on Sunday night to the feel-good South Carolina Gamecocks, a team that hadn’t won an NCAA tournament game since 1973 and had never seen the Sweet 16. The ACC blue blood losing to the SEC also-ran was surprising enough, but even more so given that SC was 7-35 from the floor at halftime with the game playing out just as everyone expected. Then, out of nowhere, the Gamecocks shot 71% in the second half and nearly tripled its first-half point total. Frank Martin’s smothering brand of defense rattled Duke players, who couldn’t hit an open jump shot in the final 12 minutes and then began to panic once South Carolina took a seven-point lead with 8:53 left, en route to what ended up being an easy 88-81 victory.