March Insanity: St. Peter’s Beats Purdue to Attain the Elite 8

PHILADELPHIA — Time isn’t up for the largest underdog of the N.C.A.A. males’s event simply but.

Tiny St. Peter’s College is alive and nicely and shifting on to the ultimate eight of the N.C.A.A. event after slaying yet one more basketball powerhouse. Enjoying impressed protection and with none worry, the No. 15 seed Peacocks surprised No. 3 Purdue, 67-64, on Friday night time earlier than a crowd at Wells Fargo Heart in Philadelphia that included many St. Peter’s followers who made the journey down the New Jersey Turnpike and roared in approval.

The Peacocks (22-11) will advance to face the winner between No. 4-seeded U.C.L.A. and No. 8 North Carolina in Sunday’s East regional closing, with an opportunity to succeed in the Ultimate 4 in New Orleans. They’ve now knocked off No. 2 Kentucky, No. 3 Purdue and No. 7 Murray State to change into the primary seed 13 or decrease to succeed in the ultimate eight.

“I bought a bunch of fellows that simply play basketball and have enjoyable. That’s all we do,” St. Peter’s Coach Shaheen Holloway stated in a tv interview as his gamers drowned him out with jubilant celebrations.

The Peacocks captured nationwide consideration instantly after knocking off Kentucky — one of many nationwide title favorites — earlier than turning into simply the third No. 15 seed to advance to the spherical of 16. St. Peter’s is the primary New Jersey college to make it this far within the males’s event since Holloway was some extent guard on the 2000 Seton Corridor group.

“We’re joyful however make no mistake, we’re not glad,” stated guard Doug Edert, who completed with 10 factors, together with two clutch free throws within the closing seconds. “We really feel like we belong.”

The sport was tight all through with 15 lead modifications and each groups buying and selling management deep into the second half. Purdue, identified for its large, tall, athletic gamers, outrebounded and outscored St. Peter’s inside, however the Peacocks discovered a strategy to win anyway.

“They beat us like they beat the opposite two groups. They grinded us,” Purdue Coach Matt Painter stated.

St. Peter’s guard Matthew Lee tied the sport at 57 with 3:17 remaining, and precisely one minute later Daryl Banks III, the main scorer for the Peacocks with 14 factors, hit a driving layup for the lead. The groups traded baskets and free throws, however Purdue was unable to catch up.

The Peacocks arrived for Friday’s recreation carrying T-shirts that learn “Extra Is Attainable.”

“What are they going to say now?” Holloway stated as his gamers celebrated behind him. “So long.”

— Adam Zagoria

CHICAGO — Kansas’ veteran lineup pushed into the spherical of 8 on Friday with a 66-61 win over Windfall in a Midwest regional semifinal, turning into the one high seed to advance in every week when upsets have been the norm.

The Jayhawks managed the matchup early on, blocking six Windfall pictures within the first 12 minutes and dominating the first-half rebounding recreation. However Windfall, making its first Candy 16 look in a quarter-century, punched again and stored the sport inside attain.

After trailing by as many as 13, Noah Horchler sunk two 3-pointers in fast succession to drag the Friars to inside some extent within the second half. Minutes later, he drove to the basket to provide Windfall a fleeting style of the lead.

Nevertheless it proved inadequate in opposition to an skilled Kansas group that was efficient, even when generally inelegant.

Towards the tip of the primary half, Jalen Wilson, a Jayhawk ahead, missed two layups, however bought his personal rebound every time and was capable of coerce the ball by means of the ring. Ochai Agbaji, a nationwide participant of the 12 months finalist, made simply 2 of 8 discipline targets. However with Kansas trying strained, and the Friars turning into extra aggressive, Agbaji re-emerged late within the second half when Christian Braun served up an alley-oop from behind the 3-point line. Agbaji slammed it dwelling, enlivening the Jayhawk followers at Chicago’s United Heart who had been quiet for a lot of the night time.

Kansas, whose youngest starter is a redshirt sophomore, was additionally capable of lean on Remy Martin, a super-senior and Arizona State switch, who led the Jayhawks in scoring with 23 factors. Braun, a junior, and Wilson, a redshirt sophomore, each reached double digits in rebounds.

The Jayhawks will enter Sunday as a heavy favourite in opposition to both Iowa State or Miami, who have been set to play one another later Friday. Iowa State is seeded eleventh within the Midwest area, and Miami tenth.

However the Jayhawks’ efficiency on Friday, which adopted a closer-than-hoped-for win in opposition to Creighton within the spherical of 32, did little to assuage considerations about their sturdiness late within the event. Kansas is advancing to the spherical of 8 for the eighth time throughout Coach Invoice Self’s tenure in Lawrence. Solely a type of journeys has ended with a nationwide title.

— Mitch Smith

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