I knew I should have stayed up on Tuesday night. Duke was in a tight game with Stephen F. Austin, but I figured the Blue Devils would win because they were playing at home. And if they weren't going to win, the refs would just bail out Coach K's crew as always. But this Wake Forest alum was wrong. Duke lost! And it was spectacular!
Check out the closing seconds of overtime as Duke was holding for the final shot. At least, that's what you would expect a "well-coached" team to do. Instead, a turnover and a fantastic pass by a Lumberjack (Gotta be the best nickname in sports, right?) leads to a breakaway layup at the buzzer. The sequence was stunning. And the call was ELECTRIC. Check it out:
YES!!! THE LUMBERJACKS HAVE DONE IT!!!
The result had some historical implications as well. Duke suffered its first home loss to a non-conference opponent since 2000, a streak that spanned 150 games. Duke also became the third AP No. 1 to lose in November, something that has never happened more than once previously. And according to ESPN, with the Lumberjacks being 27.5-point underdogs at tip-off time, this marked the biggest upset on college basketball in 15 years.
And how about this other nugget from ESPN regarding Nathan Bain, who scored the winning bucket:
Bain's buzzer-beater came less than three months after Hurricane Dorian destroyed his family's home and severely damaged his father's church in his native Bahamas. In the first hour after Tuesday's game ended, more than 100 people donated to a GoFundMe for Bain's family organized in September by Stephen F. Austin.
Wow. What a feel-good underdog story this game turned out to be. I really should have stayed up, but waking up to great news is also pretty awesome. And now I have another thing to be thankful for this holiday. Of course, one of those things isn't a basketball program I can be proud of (Wake is a football school now), but I'll settle for this.
So congrats to Stephen F. Austin on taking down Duke—and taking over the title of America's Team.