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Sherri Moore, an administrator at a local tech school, said to no one in particular, “Can you believe it?”

She said, “I mean, this is the most excited I’ve ever been to have my Final Four bracket shredded to pieces.”

Then there was student Tony Bernardo.

His hands trembled. His clothes were on. For the time being.

Bernardo, 46, returned to school to study sports management. He said he knows some of the players.

He described himself as “the non-traditional guy here … their uncle figure or whatever. Everybody on campus calls me the old guy.”

He said he’d just sent the team a congratulatory text message.

“I told them I was so happy for them,” Bernardo said. “And you don’t want to know what I told them I’ll do if they beat Duke.

“I’m supposed to run naked through Mercer Village, screaming, ‘Go Bears!’”

Some day — or night — in the not-too-distant future, at an undisclosed hour at the north end of campus, he says he will high-tail it au naturel.

Should be quite the sight.

It will take some doing, though, to match what went down there Friday afternoon.

Mercer fans saw plenty — more than many of them ever dreamed. They got an eyeful for all time.

Their Bears, they’ve already gone streaking.

Right into the national spotlight.

Story Continues →