That’s all changed now if you’ve been following the men’s NCAA tournament. The Saint Peter’s men’s basketball team has made history by becoming the first No. 15 seed to reach the Elite Eight, upsetting the No. 3 seed Purdue Boilermakers 67-64 in Philadelphia on Friday night.
Guard Doug Edert said the team was energized by the crowd.
“We had a great crowd today,” Edert said. “The whole environment, it was just unreal. I don’t think any of us were nervous or really cared about how many people were there watching us. We just went out there and did our thing. We’ve been doing what we’ve been doing all season, which was defending and playing as hard as we possibly can. And then the emotions at the end, again, we’re making history and we look forward to making more history.”
The Peacocks, the third No. 15 seed to advance to the Sweet 16 in history, will face North Carolina in the Elite Eight on Sunday after the Tar Heels defeated UCLA 73-66.
This is St. Peter’s fourth NCAA tournament appearance overall.
After nearly a month between games from December 18 to January 14, due to a Covid-19 outbreak on campus, SPU had gone 18-5 in the 2022 calendar year to win the MAAC title and advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time in program history.
Coach Shaheen Holloway said the break helped the team.
“It was everything to us,” Holloway said. “We’ve had a chance to get like a mini-camp. We didn’t play in 28 days so they got a chance to go out there. Things weren’t going well in the first half of the season. It got me a chance to really change some things around, go back and watch film and get back to the drawing board. The break was everything for us.”
The chance for 15 seeds to advance began in 1986, when the national tournament first expanded to 64 teams.