March Madness: Princeton becomes the fourth No. 15 seed to make the Sweet 16

no. 15 seed in the Sweet 16 for the third straight season.

Princeton easily beat no. 7 Missouri, 78-63, to advance to Sweet 16 on Saturday. The New Jersey Tigers led almost the entire game and pulled away in the second half after Missouri tried to make it a contest.

Princeton is just number four. 15 seeds to make Sweet 16. St. Peter was the third in 2022 and became the first no. 15 to make the Elite Eight when they beat Purdue in the third round of the tournament. Oral Roberts was second. 15 to make the Sweet 16 in 2021.

The Ivy League champions were just 4-of-25 from a 3-point streak in their upset win over No. 2 Arizona on Thursday. This performance was an atypical upset of the NCAA tournament. Massive underdogs usually win because they shoot well from behind the arc.

Princeton returned to average on Saturday. The Tigers hit 12 three-pointers and took Missouri territory in the second half. Blake Peters came off the bench making five 3-pointers while Ryan Langborg scored 22 points to lead all scorers.

Missouri finished fourth in the SEC during the regular season and was at its best when scoring 65+ points. Less than 65 pips means a loss. Mizzou shoots less than 40% from the field as a team and only shoots 30% from depth.

Mizzou was also the worst rebounding team in the SEC and dominated the boards at Princeton. Mizzou was knocked down 16 times as Princeton got plenty of second chances on the offensive glass.

Jacob O’Connell and his associates Princeton Tigers She heads to the Sweet 16 after defeating Missouri on March 18, 2023 in Sacramento, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Biggest win at no. 15 in the second round

Florida’s Gulf Coast became the first number. 15 to reach the Sweet 16 when he won two games in the 2013 NCAA Tournament and was joined by Oral Roberts eight years later before the Golden Eagles began that three-year streak.

Princeton’s margin of victory was the largest of any number. 15 factories in the second round, with five points as well. FGCU beat San Diego State by 10 in 2013, Oral Roberts beat Florida by 3, and St. Louis beat Florida by 10. Peter beat Murray State by 10 pre-season.

The win meant Princeton is in the third round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1965. The Tigers reached the Final Four that season after winning three games to win their district before losing to Michigan.

The Princeton team lost four regular season games to the Ivy League, but had one of the best rebounding teams in the country. The Tigers ranked fourth in the nation in defensive rebounding and 11th in total rebounding and that strength was one of the biggest differences on the court even though Princeton doesn’t have a significant contributor over 6-foot-8.

Meanwhile, Missouri finished the season with a 25-10 record after a strong first season under head coach Dennis Gates. The Tigers have been named one of the worst teams in the SEC, but have six Quad 1 wins, according to the NCAA NET rankings.

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