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NCAA bracket busters and the Sweet 16

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Lehigh’s C.J. McCollum, the Patriot League player of the year, had 30 points, six rebounds and six assists in their victory over the Blue Devils, and in the process gained respect and praise from Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski. “He was the best player on the court today,” Krzyzewski said. “He was their conference player of the year, and he's really been one of the outstanding players in the country. That kid is really good.”

Some have suggested that heavily-favored teams such as Duke were at a disadvantage because they lacked scouting reports on the lower seeds. This is preposterous. For one thing, it takes due credit away from those mid-majors, who obviously played inspired, tireless basketball. It also falsely suggests that a multi-million dollar athletic program has no ability to scout out and research another team in three days. Let’s understand this – Duke, Missouri and Michigan were clearly outplayed from start to finish. Certainly it’s disappointing for them; but this shouldn’t take away from the remarkable achievements of Lehigh, Norfolk State and Ohio.

At Norfolk State, a historically-black college in Norfolk, Virginia, fans gathering in the university’s gym to watch the game exploded with jubilation and tears when Missouri guard Phil Pressey’s three-point attempt grazed harmlessly off the rim in the final seconds to give the Spartans the win. Norfolk State, led by forward Kyle O’Quinn’s 26 points and 14 rebounds, shot a remarkable 54 percent from the field to Missouri’s 52 percent.

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