No. 11 Duquesne gets first March Madness win since 1969 with upset over No. 6 BYU

No. 11 Duquesne gets first March Madness win since 1969 with upset over No. 6 BYU

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The Duquesne Dukes are partying like it’s 1969.

The 11th-seeded Dukes pulled off the first big upset of March Madness, taking down No. 6 BYU, 71-67, for their first tournament win in 55 years – it’s also their first appearance in the tournament since 1977 after they went on a crazy run to win the A-10.

It took the Cougars over six minutes to knock down their first shot, but they did turn a 12-2 deficit into a 20-19 lead with 7:26 to go in the first half. However, Duquesne answered back with a 27-12 to go up by 14 points early in the second half. 

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Dae Dae Grant of the Duquesne Dukes reacts after a play against the Brigham Young Cougars in the first round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at CHI Health Center on March 21, 2024, in Omaha, Nebraska. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

There had been a tussle for a loose ball a few minutes prior, resulting in a double technical with players having to be separated underneath a pile – and apparently, the Dukes were the ones that were immediately motivated by that scrap.

But the Cougars came back from the dead – despite missing their first six three-pointers of the half, they did their business in the paint and went on a 19-6 run to cut the deficit to just one with 6:06 to go. Both teams exchanged buckets for the next few minutes, with Duquesne narrowly holding onto their lead. But BYU finally tied it at 60 with 1:47 to go.

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Jimmy Clark III went to the line for Duquesne with 1:28 to go and knocked two free throws, and after Fousseyni Traore missed another tying bucket, Clark was fouled on a layup. He only made one of two, but there was a tie-up, and the possession arrow pointed to the Dukes. 

After a timeout, Clark had a strong take to put Duquesne up five with 26 ticks left – he had scored nine straight for the Dukes.

BYU players walk with heads down

Dallin Hall, center, of the Brigham Young Cougars walks during a timeout against the Duquesne Dukes at CHI Health Center on March 21, 2024, in Omaha. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

A three from BYU’s Dallin Hall made it a two-point game with 5.9 seconds left, but Duquesne was clutch at the line, knocking down their final eight free throws to ice it.
Of course, 11-seeds beating the 6’s are commonplace – in fact, since 2010, 11-seeds are now 28-25 in the first round. 

However, the Cougars were a nine-point favorite entering this one, and the infamous KenPom rankings said they actually should have been a five-seed.

Dae Dae Grant led the Dukes with 19 points, including the final four from the charity stripe. Clark scored 11 on the afternoon.

BYU’s Jaxson Robinson led all players with 25 points in a losing effort off the bench.

Jimmy Clark drives to basket

Jimmy Clark III of the Duquesne Dukes drives the ball around Dallin Hall of the Brigham Young Cougars on March 21, 2024 in Omaha, Nebraska. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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Duquesne will now face the winner of No. 3 Illinois and No. 14 Morehead State on Saturday in Omaha.

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