Princeton takes out Missouri, newest 15-seed to make Sweet 16

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — No. 15-seeded Princeton superior to the Sweet 16 with 78-63 win in opposition to No. 7 Missouri on Saturday, changing into the second Ivy League group to take action for the reason that males’s NCAA basketball match expanded to 64 groups in 1985.

It is the third straight 12 months a No. 15 has superior from the match’s opening weekend and the fourth general.

This wasn’t a typical upset, both. The 15-point win was essentially the most lopsided win by a No. 15 seed in match historical past, and the Tigers managed the sport almost your entire method.

Princeton constructed a 14-point first-half lead, solely to see it slip to seven by halftime. But even then, coach Mitch Henderson had seen sufficient. He was satisfied his group not solely had what it took to play a full sport with the SEC opponent, however win.

“[At halftime] I said we’re going to get on that flight tonight no matter what,” Henderson mentioned. “When we get on that flight, we’re going to be us, and the best version of us can beat the best version of them. And they did it.”

Missouri, led by first-year head coach Dennis Gates, fell quick in its try to make the Sweet 16 for the primary time since 2009.

“We were able to get the lead one time,” Gates mentioned. “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.”

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Just two days after taking down No. 2 seed Arizona regardless of a poor capturing night time, Princeton founds its stroke in opposition to Missouri. Senior Ryan Langborg — who did not garner any All-Ivy League honors — led all scorers with 22 factors. He was efficient from exterior, capturing 4-of-12 from 3, and made performs going to the basket.

“He was the best player on the floor tonight, and if you want to argue, I’m happy to argue with you,” Henderson mentioned. “I mean, he was awesome, and he’s been awesome for five straight games.”

It was removed from a one-man present. Freshman Blake Peters scored 17 factors, going 5-of-8 on 3-pointers, all within the second half. Star ahead Tosan Evbuomwan, a local of England, commanded essentially the most consideration and used that to create open photographs for his teammates.

“Tosan’s passing, you won’t see that again at Princeton for 50 years,” Henderson mentioned. “He’s a very unique passer. When he first came to us — it was the first week of practice — it was like a brilliant, blinding light from heaven. Like, this is going to be a lot of fun.”

But even for Henderson, who received two first-round video games as a participant for Princeton (1996 and 1998), it could have been arduous to count on this kind of success. The 78 factors the Tigers scored in opposition to Missouri have been essentially the most a Princeton group has scored within the NCAA match within the fashionable period.

Princeton will play the winner of Sunday’s sport between Creighton and Baylor on March 24 in Louisville, Kentucky.

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