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Insider

Mercer's underrated upset odds

3/21/2014
Rob Kinnan/USA TODAY Sports

This is a game our statistical model didn't see coming -- but maybe it should have. And that has implications for Mercer's odds to advance into the Sweet 16 when it meets GK darling Tennessee.

Round of 32 upset odds: It's complicated ... see below.

How they beat the Blue Devils: Let's start with the opponent. Duke had trouble getting stops all season, and the Blue Devils were particularly vulnerable to runs when their own 3-pointers weren't falling and they didn't adjust to working the ball inside. Duke's November game against Vermont, where the Blue Devils surrendered 75.6 percent on 2-point attempts and blew an eight-point halftime lead, offered a blueprint for an upstart opponent (though Duke won that game 91-90), and Mercer followed it perfectly.