Jim Boeheim's press conference on Friday was minutes after Duke's upset loss to Mercer. Boeheim, who is Mike Krzyzewski's good friend and Olympic assistant, watched the game and said it wasn't really that much of an upset. In fact, he said Mercer was the better team.
"Yeah, I watched the game and I watched almost the whole game," Boeheim said. "Honestly, I
haven't seen Mercer. It's probably the only team in the country I haven't seen play this year. I don't know how I missed them. Just watching them play, I thought they were a better team.
"I didn't think this was like Duke playing bad or anything like that," he said. "Whoever's playing
Mercer's in trouble, that's what I think. Inside, guard play, big guys ... I just think they a really good team.
"In this tournament, when you lose to a really good team, and it can happen anytime, that's just the way this tournament is. And it can happen any time to any team in this tournament. It's as simple as that. You watched those games last night and it was just a thread as to who was going to keep playing and
who was going home.
"That's what makes the tournament great and what makes it heartbreaking for the teams that don't quite get there. It's one play, one shot, one missed free throw. That's what it is, and it's very, very difficult."
You can't blame Boeheim for sticking up for his buddy. I consider Coach K the best coach in history. His Duke teams have now lost as a No. 2 seed (to Lehigh) and a 3 seed (to Mercer) in the last three tournaments. Boeheim knows how the early upsets can stick with a coach. He's still living down a loss to Richmond more than 20 years ago.