Saint Peter’s shocks 2 seed Kentucky 85-79 in OT
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Saint Peter’s acted like it had been there before.
After the 15th-seeded Saint Peter’s bounced storied 2 seed Kentucky from the NCAA Tournament on Thursday night, they calmly exchanged handshakes with the Wildcats before heading over to the opposite sideline to celebrate with a small contingent of true believers.
The tiny Jesuit school from Jersey City, New Jersey, got 27 points from Daryl Banks III as it took down basketball royalty, beating second-seeded Kentucky 85-79 in overtime and sending countless brackets into the digital wastebasket.
“It was an amazing feeling,” Banks said. “You grow up you watching March Madness, the tournament, so to let that sink in — knowing the game was over — it felt really good.”
The Peacocks became the 10th No. 15 seed to win a first-round game since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985 and handed Kentucky its first opening-round loss under coach John Calipari.
“At the end of the day, every team that made it to the NCAA Tournament deserves to be here. Every team that made it to the NCAA Tournament believes they can advance. It’s about this night,” Saint Peter’s coach Shaheen Holloway said.
Saint Peter’s, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference champion, kept it close throughout and Banks’ two free throws with 1:45 left in overtime gave the Peacocks the lead for good. Doug Edert’s layup with 24 seconds left in regulation sent the game to overtime. He also made the final two game-sealing free throws for the Peacocks and finished with 20 points.
Saint Peter’s (20-11) moves on to face either Murray State or San Francisco in Saturday’s second round in the East Region.
Not bad for a school with an enrollment of about 3,500 that’s made half as many NCAA Tournament appearances (four) as Kentucky has national titles (eight). Kentucky had nearly 31,800 students enrolled on its 900-acre campus as of last fall and has the second highest-paid coach in college hoops in Calipari (more than $8 million per year).
“It’s huge,” Banks said. “We’re putting Jersey City on the map. We come from Jersey, a small school, probably a lot of people don’t even know who we are.”
Oscar Tshiebwe had 30 points and 16 rebounds for Kentucky (26-8) but his pair of missed free throws early in overtime was costly, and the Wildcats lacked a reliable secondary scorer. TyTy Washington Jr. was held to five points on 2-of-10 shooting.
Saint Peter’s shocks No. 2 seed Kentucky 85-79 in OT The Associated Press – en Español
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