Princeton’s Sweet Weekend: Tigers stun the college basketball world for the Sweet 16 in March

After Princeton’s upset win over Missouri on Saturday, sophomore Blake Peters looked at the camera and shouted a phrase that Kevin Garnett made famous about 15 years earlier.

“EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE!” Peters screamed as Tigers head coach Mitch Henderson stood next to him. And after two wins over the 2nd-seeded Arizona Wildcats and 7th-seeded Missouri Tigers to make the Sweet 16, Peters doesn’t seem wrong.

Princeton became the latest underdog to continue his Cinderella storyline during March Madness with a dominating performance on Saturday afternoon to punch the Sweet 16 school ticket for the first time since 1967.

They play again on Friday.

Saturday’s win erased a stretch Princeton had lost in 1996 and 1998 after upset victories in 1996 and 1998 in the second round of the tournament.

“The world sees us as two surprises,” said senior striker Tosan Evbuomwan. “But I feel like we should be here. We have a lot of confidence in what we do. There is definitely no let-up with this group.”

The Tigers have that confidence for a reason, even before they started their journey to the Sweet 16. Princeton had punched its ticket to the big dance with an Ivy League title earlier this month, and dating back to Feb. 18, the school’s men’s basketball team hasn’t lost a single game.

Princeton’s win over Missouri was another reminder of the weirdness that can happen this time of year, especially with the impressive second-round performance. Princeton’s 13-point win was the widest margin over a 15-seeded win in NCAA tournament history, and they had led in double digits for much of the game.

And her run quickly reminds college basketball fans of Saint Peter’s run to the Elite Eight in last year’s tournament.

“I’ve always dreamed of going deep into the tournament,” said Henderson, who played for the Princeton team that won in 1996 and 1998. “As a player, I got through to the second round a couple of times. I never got past that.”

And it’s not just the men’s team that has captured the imagination of college basketball fans. The Princeton women’s team pulled off an amazing surprise of their own, defeating No. 7 NC State in the first round of the women’s NCAA tournament with a last-second shot from Grace Stone.

It was the first time that men’s and women’s teams from an Ivy League program both advanced in the NCAA tournament.

“We watched the game, looked at each other and said, ‘Okay, we’re next. It’s our turn,'” senior guard Julia Cunningham said.

For more information on NCAA tournaments, visit amNY Sports


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