Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Boeheim Calls Duke Loss ‘Painful,’ Says ‘Whoever is playing Mercer is in trouble’
BUFFALO — Before coming onto the podium here in advance of Saturday’s Round of 32 game against Dayton, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim watched his friend Mike Krzyzewski and Duke get stunned by Mercer.
“Yeah, I watched the game, I watched almost the whole game,” Boeheim said. “Honestly, 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. Whoever is playing Mercer is in trouble. That’s what I think. Inside guard play, big guys. I just think they’re just a really good team.
“In this tournament, when you lose to a really good team, it can happen any time, and that’s just the way it is. That’s the way this tournament is. It can happen any time to any team in this tournament. It’s as simple as that.”
Off the podium, Boeheim talked about conference affiliation with there being three current and former Big East teams here — Syracuse, UConn and Villanova.
I asked him if he feels like he’s repping the ACC as much as he once repped the Big East.
“Yeah, sure you do,” he said. “First and foremost, I don’t care what anybody says. You’re trying to win for Syracuse, that’s who you want to win for. But yeah, you want the league to do well.
“It’s painful for us to have Duke lose because they’re in our league and we want them to do well and we want everybody in the league to do well. But Mercer’s really good, they’re a good team.”
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.