Wow! Lehigh shocks second-seeded Duke
Greensboro, NC (Sports Network) - After a relatively quiet Thursday, the NCAA Tournament got wild on Friday.
C.J. McCollum's 30 points paced 15th-seeded Lehigh -- which had never won an NCAA Tournament game -- to a shocking 75-70 upset of No. 2 Duke in a South Region thriller.
The game followed 15th-seeded Norfolk State's equally-staggering ouster of Missouri earlier in the day, marking the first time two No. 15 seeds won in the same year in NCAA history.
McCollum fueled the Mountain Hawks (27-7), adding six rebounds, six assists and two steals to his game-high points total. Gabe Knutson provided 17 points and eight boards while Mackey McKnight scored 11 for Lehigh, which had been 0-4 in its previous NCAA Tournament appearances.
"When I get the ball, I try to clear my mind and just read the whole floor, the entire floor," said McCollum. "But usually when I have the ball, I'm trying to make a play for my team or in scoring that I'm making the proper pass. But it means a lot to me to get this win."
The Hawks will take a shot at their second tourney victory Sunday when they battle Xavier.
Mason Plumlee posted 19 points and 12 rebounds and Austin Rivers scored 19 points for the Blue Devils (27-7), whose last loss in the round of 64 came to the Eric Maynor-led VCU Rams in 2007.
Lehigh led throughout much of the game, gaining momentum throughout, and took the lead for good on McKnight's uncontested three-pointer with 8:21 remaining.
The Mountain Hawks built a seven-point advantage with 1:59 to play on an outlet-pass dunk by John Adams, but Duke's precision three-point shooting down the stretch kept the Blue Devils close.
Seth Curry made it 61-57 on a trey from the top of the key that got a friendly bounce, Andre Dawkins responded to two Lehigh pairs from the charity stripe with a triple from left-center of the arc, and Quinn Cook cut it to 73-70 in the final seconds with another trey.
The Mountain Hawks' free-throw shooting -- a problem all game, as the team converted just 67.6 percent of its attempts -- picked up at a critical time. Lehigh made 10 of its final 12 attempts from the line to answer Duke's three- point barrage and secure the win.
"I want to congratulate Lehigh, their kids played a great game. They had the best player on the court tonight in McCollum," said Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski. "There was some pressure on them when we came back, and they seemed to always have an answer and they were very bold. They were very bold the entire game."
Inefficient shot selection culminated in low field goal percentages for both teams in the first half -- though disruptive defensives on both ends of the floor were also a factor -- and Duke held a slim 30-28 edge at intermission.
McCollum, the two-time Patriot League player of the year, played 39 minutes...It was the sixth time in NCAA history a 15 seed beat a No. 2 seed...Duke lost in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in Greensboro (12-1)...The Blue Devils made just 69.6 percent (16-of-23) of their attempts from the free-throw line...Duke's Tyler Thornton fouled out with 1:06 remaining.
03/17 00:45:35 ET