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Stephen F. Austin Defeats No. 1 Ranked Duke In Huge Upset


Last night, a college basketball game had an ending that seemed pulled straight from your favorite cheesy sports movie. Stephen F. Austin State University, the pride of Nacogdoches, Texas, and ranked 222nd in the nation, faced the top-ranked team, Duke.


Duke had not lost at home to a non-conference opponent in 150 games almost 20 years ago. So this was supposed to be an early season warm-up game against a completely outmatched opponent.

CHANG: Everyone expected the Lumberjacks of Stephen F. Austin to get crushed and then go home. Nathan Bain had other ideas.

SHAPIRO: With seconds left in overtime and the game tied up, Duke lost the ball. The Lumberjacks recovered. And suddenly, forward Nathan Bain had the ball at half court and a clear path to the basket.


UNIDENTIFIED SPORTS ANNOUNCER #1: They've got a timeout. They don't use it - Bain - yes. The Lumberjacks have done it.

CHANG: As you heard on the ACC Network, Bain's layup with one-tenth of a second left sealed the stunning Lumberjack victory. Duke fans will spend Thanksgiving wondering what the heck happened.

SHAPIRO: And for at least the next few days, Nathan Bain is one of the biggest names in college basketball.


UNIDENTIFIED SPORTS ANNOUNCER #2: Nathan Bain, this is your life. Wow.

CHANG: And about that life - Nathan Bain is from the Bahamas and the son of a minister.

SHAPIRO: His family pretty much lost everything when Hurricane Dorian ravaged the country two months ago. His father's church was wrecked.

CHANG: Bain had all of that on his mind during a post-game interview.


NATHAN BAIN: Man, it's just - I'm trying real hard not to get emotional. You know, my family lost a whole lot this year. I'm not going to cry on TV. My family lost a whole lot this year, and I'm just playing this game for them, you know, just playing for my SFA family, my family back home in the Bahamas. I just want to make my country proud.

SHAPIRO: I just want to make my country proud. A GoFundMe to support his family had about $2,000 in donations before the game. As of this afternoon, not even 24 hours later, it was at $66,000 and counting.

CHANG: To be fair, almost every college basketball fan outside of Duke hates Duke. So at least some of this generosity is coming from a less-than-noble place.

SHAPIRO: One person donated $5 with the message, Duke sucks and nothing else.

CHANG: But even some Duke fans will admit this is sports hate for a good cause. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.