March Madness: No. 15 Princeton shocks No. 2 Arizona in 59-55 win

No. 15 Princeton shocked No. 2 Arizona with a 59–55 first-round victory in the South Region on Thursday.

Kaden Pierce hit two free throws with 17 seconds left in three and Tosan Evbuomwan hit a free throw with three seconds left in the game for the Tigers. Courtney Ramey and Kerr Kriisa missed out on crucial threes for the Wildcats between lanes as Arizona were in the midst of an incredibly long scoring battle.

This is the third year in a row that the No. 15 seed has edged out the No. 2 seed in the NCAA Men’s Tournament. St. Peters defeated Kentucky in 2022 during their incredible run to the Elite Eight, and Oral Roberts defeated Ohio State in the 2021 tournament.

[Free $25K best bracket contest for women’s tourney | Printable bracket]

Ramey gave Arizona a 49–39 lead with 11 minutes left in the game, and it looked like the Wildcats could keep Princeton at bay for the win. This assumption was based on the belief that Arizona could continue to produce baskets at a decent rate.

That did not happen. The Wildcats scored just six points in the last 11 minutes of the game and had six turnovers. All three baskets have been abandoned in the last 11 minutes. Arizona passed out from outside the lane and allowed Princeton back into the game.

Princeton didn’t hit the ball very well either. The usual formula for losing in the NCAA Tournament is for the lower seeded team to shoot well from behind the arc. Princeton was just 4 out of 25 from beyond the arc. The fourth three belonged to Blake Peters with 6:29 left and cut Arizona’s lead to 51-48.

Princeton took the lead for the first time in the entire game with 2:03 left when Ryan Langborg scored a goal into the basket. This basket was booked by Arizona turnovers. Azuolas Tubelis was stripped to create Langborg’s go-ahead, then flipped by Kriisa after a jump ball.

Arizona had six chances to take the lead in the final two minutes. The Wildcats missed five shots and had two turnovers.

While Princeton has only scored four triples, Arizona has only three. The Wildcats were 3 of 16 from deep, meaning the two teams together scored 7 of 41 of 3. However, they both scored over 40% from the field thanks to their baskets at the ring.

Princeton will play seventh-seeded Missouri on Saturday. The Tigers swept No. 10 Utah for the school’s first NCAA tournament win since 2010. The winner will advance to Sweet 16.

Princeton has another signature disorder

It was Princeton’s first NCAA tournament game since 2017 and his first NCAA tournament win since 1998 when he beat UNLV for 5th.

Two years prior to this victory over the Rebels, Princeton produced one of the most exciting moments in modern men’s tournament history with a 43-41 win for a 13th seed over UCLA No. 4. The win came in legendary coach Pete Carril’s final season with the team as the Tigers swept the tournament, ending a four-decade, 775-game career.

This win shattered the brackets for the few who had perfect brackets left in Sportzshala’s Tourney Pick’Em tournament. With poor wins by Princeton and Fuhrman during Thursday’s first game session, only 0.06% of users lived up to their full NCAA Tournament predictions.


Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker