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Monday, March 24, 2014 - 3:39am

Elation Segues To Disappointment As Mercer Basketball Falls To Tennessee Following Duke Upset

Mercer University basketball fans are back down to earth after the Bears lost to the University Tennessee by 20 points Sunday night.

Just 48 hours earlier Mercer, was the talk of the sports world after upsetting Duke University in the NCAA tournament.

Macon native Missy Davis watched Mercer's unlikely March Madness experience on a Jumbotron in Mercer Village. Even though Mercer lost, they're still winners, she said.

"It's doing good for our community, it's good for Macon, for Mercer. The football team did great, now we've got the basketball team," Davis said. "I'm very proud of Macon, I'm proud of Mercer."

This was Mercer's first March Madness experience in 29 years.

"For us to even make it this far is just a feat in and of itself, and now everybody knows about Mercer," said freshman Mercer dance team member Zoe Haynes, who was one of nearly 600 students who traveled to Raleigh, N.C. for the game.

"You know, we played hard," she said.

Lifelong Macon resident Kathy Smallwood attended every Mercer basketball game this season. She has high hopes for next year.

"We're losing a lot of seniors but I know coach Hoffman will be rebuilding and recruiting should go better, so I'm just hoping we have a good team and we'll start over," Smallwood said.