Former Simeon Wolverines’ star and freshman All-American member Jabari Parker was apart of the biggest upset of the NCAA Tournament as his no.3 seed Duke Blue Devils were upset by the no.14 seed Mercer Bears. Parker contributed 14 points and seven rebounds in the losing effort.
Parker had a great season for Duke, and is projected to be the no.2 pick in the next NBA draft, assuming he declares for it. However, the notion among NBA General Managers is that Parker will stay in school to play a season with friend Jahlil Okafor, who played at Whitney Young for his high school career, who accepted an offer to play at Duke next season. Parker has stated before that he may return to school if he feels that he’s either not ready for the NBA level or if he feels he has unfinished business at Duke. A heart-breaking upset loss definitely fits the definition of unfinished business. Parker appears to definitely be ready for the NBA, averaging 19.3 points and 8.8 rebounds per game. If GMs thought that he was staying at school before, it should be extremely obvious that he will stay for another season now.
This is the second time in three seasons that Duke has lost to a team seeded at least this low in the NCAA Tournament. In 2012, Duke lost to the no.15 seed Lehigh Hawks, and teamed with Missouri to create the only season in which two 15-seeds won a game. In 2007, Duke lost to no.11 Virginia Commonwealth.
If Parker does decide to stay at Duke, it will be a shock to what is supposed to be one of the greatest NBA draft classes in NBA history. Parker is rated lower than Andrew Wiggins of the Kansas Jayhawks, and is ranked just above Wiggins’ teammate Joel Embiid.