Saint Peter's shocks Purdue to become 1st-ever 15 seed to advance to Elite 8
Daryl Banks III scores game-tying, go-ahead baskets for New Jersey-based Peacocks
Daryl Banks III scored the tying and go-ahead baskets that pushed 15th-seeded Saint Peter's to the brink of the Final Four, the tiny Peacocks thriving off a home-court edge to beat third-seeded Purdue 67-64 on Friday night.
Saint Peter's had the fans inside the packed Wells Fargo Center on its side from the opening tip and the arena erupted when Banks tied the game 57-all on a turnaround jumper. He hit a driving layup with 2:17 left that made it 59-57.
The Peacocks kept their composure — hey, they're used to these wins by now after knocking off No. 2 seed Kentucky and Murray State — and held off a Purdue team that gamely tried to bully them inside.
"What they going to say now?" coach Shaheen Holloway said about his team's doubters, a group whose numbers are dwindling.
SAINT PETER'S HAS DONE IT! 😱😱😱<br><br>Peacocks keep dancing to the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Elite8?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Elite8</a>! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MarchMadness?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MarchMadness</a> <a href="https://t.co/2hRQE8Efa6">pic.twitter.com/2hRQE8Efa6</a>—@MarchMadnessMBB
Almost 30 years to the day that Duke's Christian Laettner's overtime buzzer-beater stunned Kentucky to win a regional final at the since-razed Spectrum, Purdue (29-8) and Saint Peter's pulled off their own Philly classic.
Saint Peter's fans made the 93-mile ride south to help pack the arena and give the Peacocks more of an edge than they usually have at their bandbox known as Run Baby Run Arena. Consider, just 434 fans were listed as the total attendance for Saint Peter's home opener this season against LIU.
More fans than that turned out to give the team a Sweet 16 sendoff from campus this week.
Even more basketball fans — yes, even those whose brackets the Peacocks help bust — were suddenly rooting for the tiny commuter college in Jersey City, New Jersey, just across the Hudson River from Lower Manhattan.
Purdue's Jaden Iven buried an NBA-distance 3 with 8 seconds left that pulled Purdue within 65-64 and momentarily shushed the crowd.
No worries. Doug Edert, whose wispy mustache and goofy persona earned him a fast-food chicken endorsement deal, sank two free throws to seal the win.
The Peacocks hopped the press table and saluted fans in the first few rows. They mobbed each other and hugged and starting waving down fans and friends before they gathered at the basket to celebrate — one more time — the biggest win in program history.
Banks led the Peacocks with 14 points, Clarence Rupert scored 11 and Edert had 10. Trevion Williams had 16 points and eight rebounds for Purdue.
Top-seeded Kansas tops Providence
Remy Martin scored a season-high 23 points and Kansas did its part as the only remaining No. 1 seed, holding Providence to 17 first-half points and hanging on to reach the Elite Eight.
The Jayhawks (31-6) will face either Miami or Iowa State in the Midwest Region final on Sunday.
Jalen Wilson added 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Jayhawks, who are back in a regional final for the first time since 2018, when they reached their 15th Final Four. Coach Bill Self is seeking his fourth trip there since he arrived in 2003.
Kansas also moved ahead of Kentucky for most wins in Division I history with 2,354.
The Jayhawks led by 13 points early in the second half, let it slip away, and then regrouped. Fourth-seeded Providence (27-6) took a short-lived one-point lead, but Kansas responded by scoring seven straight.
Al Durham scored 21 points for the Friars, who shot 33.8 per cent.
Miami defeats Iowa State in battle of Cinderella teams
Kameron McGusty scored 27 points and Miami advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time, using its swarming defence to beat Iowa State.
Jordan Miller added 16 points on 6-of-6 shooting as No. 10 seed Miami more than held its own in a matchup of two of the tourney's most suffocating defences. The 11th-seeded Cyclones shot 32 per cent from the field in the second half and finished with 18 turnovers.
With Charlie Moore directing the attack in his hometown, the Hurricanes (26-10) got their first win in the school's fourth appearance in the Sweet 16.
Gabe Kalscheur scored 13 points for Iowa State (22-13), and freshman Tyrese Hunter had 13 points and seven assists. Izaiah Brockington finished with 11 points and seven rebounds.
Love powers North Carolina over UCLA
Caleb Love hit game-tying and go-ahead 3-pointers 37 seconds apart and North Carolina moved within a victory of its 21st Final Four, beating UCLA 73-66 on Friday night in a March Madness matchup of power programs.
Love, a sophomore, finished with a career-high 30 points, including six 3s and two game-clinching free throws with 7.8 seconds left. He scored 27 of Carolina's 45 points in the second half, including one stretch of 10 straight that kept the Tar Heels (27-9) in the game.
Logo three? Why not. <a href="https://twitter.com/caleb2love?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@caleb2love</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CarolinaFamily?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#CarolinaFamily</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MarchMadness?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MarchMadness</a> <a href="https://t.co/pFTVMg7B5W">pic.twitter.com/pFTVMg7B5W</a>—@UNC_Basketball
North Carolina's next game is Sunday against Saint Peter's in a first-of-its-kind 8-vs.-15 matchup in the Elite Eight. The 15th-seeded Peacocks topped Purdue 67-64 earlier in the evening.
Nobody stood out more than Love, who was held to five points in last week's win over Baylor, but managed one point more than that during the decisive 37 seconds. His go-ahead 3 came with 1:03 left and marked the last of 14 lead changes in the game that was also tied eight times.
In their second-round win over Baylor, the Tar Heels squandered a 25-point lead only to pull things together and pull out the game in overtime.
That game got dicey once Brady Manek got tossed for throwing an inadvertent elbow. Manek played all but two minutes in this one and finished with 13 points.