Fifteenth-seeded Princeton will continue its Cinderella run in the Sweet 16 at the 2023 NCAA men’s basketball tournament after a 78-63 victory over No. 7 seed Missouri on Saturday.
The Princeton Tigers are only the fourth 15-seed to reach the Sweet 16 in men’s March Madness history.
Making their 26th NCAA tournament appearance, the Tigers led most of the game at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California, only trailing 3-2 in the opening minutes of the first half then never looking back.
Senior guard Ryan Langborg tallied 22 points and six rebounds in the victory, while sophomore guard Blake Peters added 17 points, including 5-of-8 shots from the three-point line. The 15-point win was the largest margin victory in tournament history for a 15 seed.
“I have no words for you. We have such an unbelievable section (of fans) here,” Peters told the TNT broadcast after the game. “I have the best teammates in the world, when we go out and believe in each other. Anything is possible, I know it’s cliché but anything is possible.”
On Thursday, the Tigers became the 11th No. 15 seed in tournament history to win in the Round of 64, with a 59-55 victory over No. 2 seed Arizona. The win on Thursday was the first for the men’s team at the tournament in 25 years, when they defeated UNLV in 1998.
The Tigers are set to next play the winner between No. 6 seed Creighton and No. 3 seed Baylor on March 24, as they look to advance to their first Elite Eight since 1965.
Meanwhile, the No. 10 seed Princeton women’s basketball team will return to the court Sunday, after pulling off an upset victory against No. 7 NC State on Friday. They’ll play against No. 2 seed Utah.
The Tigers’ men’s and women’s teams became the first Ivy League duo to both advance to the second round in the NCAA Tournament.
Another No. 1 seed falls
Following Friday night’s historic upset that saw No. 16 seed Fairleigh Dickinson defeat No. 1 Purdue, the madness continued Saturday with another No. 1 seed sent packing early.
No. 1 Kansas was upset by No. 8 Arkansas, 72-71, in Des Moines, Iowa.
Down 35-27 at the half, the Razorbacks came racing back and took the lead on a Kamani Johnson layup with just under a minute to play. Arkansas would hold on to the lead and advance to the school’s third consecutive Sweet 16 appearance.
After the buzzer, Arkansas head coach Eric Musselman celebrated the win by removing his shirt while pumping up the Razorback fans in attendance at the Wells Fargo Arena.
“That’s such an unbelievable win for our program,” Musselman told the CBS broadcast. “I keep telling people that we are getting better. Not many teams can get better this time of year. I’ve never been prouder of a team like tonight.”
The Razorbacks will play the winner of Connecticut and St. Mary’s on March 23 in Las Vegas.
There are two No. 1 seeds remaining – Houston and Alabama.