Experience Pays Off for Mercer, Underdogs in NCAA Tourney

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Updated: Fri, 21 Mar 2014 11:09:21 EST

On the surface, a team like Mercer looked completely overmatched against mighty Duke and its roster of future NBA players.

But the 14th-seed from Macon, Ga., was able to pull the huge upset by following a script that more and more underdogs are using in the age of one-and-done college players. They turned it into a game of men against boys.

Mercer starts five seniors. The Bears used the toughness, cohesion and chemistry their group acquired over four years in college to beat a Duke team headlined by freshman Jabari Parker, who many figure will turn pro after just one season.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski says it was clear that his young team wasn't physically or mentally mature enough to compete with experienced Mercer.

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