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Friday, March 21, 2014 - 12:32pm

Mercer Stuns Duke 78-71 In NCAA Basketball Tournament Upset

They're calling it a "bracket-buster."

No. 14 seed Mercer University defeated No. 3 seed Duke University in Raleigh, N.C. Friday afternoon in a stunning NCAA tournament upset.

On paper, it didn't look likely at all. Mercer is a mid-sized private school Macon that hasn't taken part in March Madness since 1985, while Duke is one of the most storied college teams in basketball history.

The teams swapped the lead back an fourth until Mercer finally triumphed 78-71.

"Nobody really thought this was going to happen," said Mercer junior Ashley Alhouse who made the trip to Raleigh with more than 300 other students.

"Maybe a percent of people thought this was going to happen. We just screwed up everyone's brackets and I love it," she said.

Mercer's experience proved key, as their seven seniors overcame Duke's All-American freshman Jabari Parker. His extraordinary season is now over.

Back home in Macon, firefighter Rollo Chester watched the game with hundreds of others on a giant screen in Mercer Village.

"It's been a long time coming, but Macon, Ga. needed something to get us excited," Chester shouted. "And we're ready! We're going to take it all!"

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