Duke basketball: Jeff Capel guides Pittsburgh to NCAA Tournament thriller

Former Duke basketball assistant coach Jeff Capel (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Former Duke basketball assistant coach Jeff Capel (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

A former Duke basketball assistant coach is moving on in the NCAA Tournament. 

The last time Jeff Capel was coaching in a game he saw the Duke basketball team beat his Pittsburgh Panthers by 27 points in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals.

Pittsburgh snuck into the NCAA Tournament on Selection Sunday with a bid to the First Four and took full advantage of the opportunity against Mississippi State on Tuesday night.

It was an instant classic that only could be imagined in the month of March with 21 lead changes but the Panthers are happy there was not a 22nd swap of the lead.

Mississippi State had three chances to take the lead in the final six seconds.

The first shot attempt was blocked by Guillermo Diaz Graham which left 2.7 seconds remaining on the clock.

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Then, the Bulldogs were able to get Shakeel Moore wide open in the corner for a 3-pointer which would have won the game but the shot was too long and a tip underneath the basket by D.J. Jeffries was also missed.

Pittsburgh survived, 60-59.

The game winning basket came from Jamarius Burton with 10 seconds left in the second half.

It is the first NCAA Tournament victory for Pittsburgh since 2014 and they will play No. 6 seed Iowa State in the Round of 64 on Friday afternoon (3:10p.m. ET, TruTV).

Other Duke basketball coaches ready to shine in NCAA Tournament

Jeff Capel is not the only former Duke assistant coach, or player, that will be looking for success this week in the NCAA Tournament.

Bobby Hurley, a two-time National Champion with the Blue Devils, will be looking to reach the Round of 64 as his Arizona State Sun Devils will face Nevada in the First Round on Wednesday evening (9:10p.m. ET, TruTV).

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Kenny Blakeney was a teammate with Hurly on the 1991 title winning team and now as the head coach of Howard he gets the task to try and pull off the historic upset against No. 1 seed Kansas on Thursday afternoon (2:00p.m. ET, TBS).

Chris Collins and No. 7 seed Northwestern will play Boise State on Thursday night (7:35p.m. ET, TruTV) as the Wildcats look to win its second NCAA Tournament game in program history.

Jon Scheyer and the No. 5 seed Duke Blue Devils will also take the floor on Thursday night (7:10p.m. ET, CBS) in Orlando, Florida against No. 12 seed Oral Roberts.

Next. Duke knocked UNC out of NCAA Tournament. dark