As the general minute ticked off the clock, the Princeton fanatics began chanting “Sweet 16! Sweet 16!” and trainer Mitch Henderson cleared the bench with the victory simply in hand.
This dissatisfied was once no small-school fluke towards a extra heralded group. It was once a totally dominating efficiency that despatched Princeton to a spot it hadn’t been in additional than a half-century.
Blake Peters made 5 three-pointers in the second one 1/2 and Princeton stunned every other energy convention group to achieve the NCAA match regional semifinals for the primary time in 56 years by means of beating Missouri 78-63 on Saturday.
“The world looks at us as two upsets,” ahead Tosan Evbuomwan stated. “But I feel like we’re supposed to be here. We have a lot of confidence in each other, what we’re doing. There’s definitely no letup with this group.”
The No. 15 seeded Tigers (23-8) followed up a first-round win over Pac-12 tournament champions Arizona by dominating 10th seeded Missouri (25-10) of the Southeastern Conference from the start.
The Ivy League school known for giving powerhouses scares and occasionally pulling off upsets a generation ago has reached the round of 16 for the first time since 1967 when only 23 teams even made the tournament.
“I have no words for you,” Peters said. “We have such an unbelievable section (of fans) here. I have the best teammates in the world. I love each and every one of them. when we go out and believe in each other, anything is possible. I know it’s cliche, but anything is possible.
Princeton will play the winner of Sunday’s game between Baylor and Creighton in the Sweet 16 in Louisville, Kentucky, on Friday night.
The Tigers will be the second Ivy League school to make the Sweet 16 in the past 43 tournaments, joining Cornell in 2010. No team from the academically prestigious conference that doesn’t give athletic scholarships has gone further since Penn made the Final Four in 1979. .
“I’ve always dreamed of playing deep into the tournament,” stated Henderson, a participant on Princeton’s groups in 1996 and ’98 that gained first-round video games. “As a participant, were given to the second one around a few occasions. Never were given past it.
This marks the third straight year a team seeded 15th made it to the Sweet 16, following Oral Roberts in 2021 and fellow New Jersey school Saint Peter’s last year. The only other time a 15 seed made it this far came in 2012 when Florida Gulf Coast did it.
Ryan Langborg led Princeton with 22 points and Peters added 17.
DeAndre Gholston scored 19 points and Noah Carter added 14 for Missouri, which was seeking its first berth in the Sweet 16 since 2009.
“We have been in a position to get the lead one time,” said coach Dennis Gates. “We held the lead for 30 seconds in the entire game. Every time we got the lead or when they had the lead, we cut it to six, they came back down and did what a good team would do: Make a shot or make a play.”
Princeton confirmed no indicators of being outclassed towards every other energy convention group, controlling the play from the beginning. Keeshawn Kellman had two dunks and a blocked shot in a span of 16 seconds halfway throughout the 1/2.
Princeton constructed the result in 10 issues on a nook 3 by means of Zach Martini and went up 33–19 on a pressure by means of Evbuomwan.
Missouri replied by means of scoring the general seven issues of the 1/2 to enter the damage down seven.
Every time Missouri threatened early in the second one 1/2, Princeton had a solution with Peters hitting five three-pointers, The fourth gave Princeton a 62-43 lead and Missouri by no means threatened after that.
“Blake Peters has been making shots coming off the bench for us for weeks,” Henderson stated. “This is an overly, very assured staff. We are so extremely joyful to be going to the Sweet 16. It is an absolute excitement being round those guys. They simply grit their tooth they usually do it.”
Princeton will look for their first Elite Eight appearance since 1965 when Bill Bradley was the star.