By GARY B. GRAVES
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Saint Peter’s acted prefer it had been there earlier than.
After the Fifteenth-seeded Peacocks bounced storied Kentucky from the NCAA Match on Thursday evening, they calmly exchanged handshakes with the Wildcats earlier than heading over to the other sideline to have fun with a small contingent of true believers.
The tiny Jesuit faculty from Jersey Metropolis, New Jersey, acquired 27 factors from Daryl Banks III because it took down basketball royalty, beating second-seeded Kentucky 85-79 in additional time and sending numerous brackets into the digital wastebasket.
“It was an amazing feeling,” Banks stated. “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 turned the tenth No. 15 seed to win a first-round sport for the reason that match expanded to 64 groups in 1985 and handed Kentucky its first opening-round loss beneath 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 stated.
Saint Peter’s, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Convention champion, stored it shut all through and Banks’ two free throws with 1:45 left in additional time gave the Peacocks the lead for good. Doug Edert’s layup with 24 seconds left in regulation despatched the sport to additional time. He additionally made the ultimate two game-sealing free throws for the Peacocks and completed with 20 factors.
Saint Peter’s (20-11) strikes on to face both Murray State or San Francisco in Saturday’s second spherical within the East Area.
Not unhealthy for a faculty with an enrollment of about 3,500 that’s made half as many NCAA Match appearances (4) as Kentucky has nationwide titles (eight). Kentucky had almost 31,800 college students enrolled on its 900-acre campus as of final fall and has the second highest-paid coach in faculty hoops in Calipari (greater than $8 million per 12 months).
“It’s huge,” Banks stated. “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 factors and 16 rebounds for Kentucky (26-8) however his pair of missed free throws early in additional time was pricey, and the Wildcats lacked a dependable secondary scorer. TyTy Washington Jr. was held to 5 factors on 2-of-10 capturing.
The sport featured 16 ties and 13 lead adjustments. Kentucky went forward 68-62 on Sahvir Wheeler’s driving layup with 4:12 remaining. Saint Peter’s adopted with seven unanswered factors, capped by Edert’s go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:25 remaining. Kellan Grady put Kentucky again forward earlier than Edert compelled OT.
The Wildcats had their eyes set on a ninth title behind Tshiebwe, the 6-foot-9 ahead who’s a candidate for nationwide participant of the 12 months honors. And Kentucky was enjoying in entrance of a predominantly blue-clad crowd at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, a 2 1/2 hour drive from Lexington.
“It is sad because I’ve been wanting this moment for a long time,” Tshiebwe stated.
Banks set the tone all through, making all 4 3s for 16 first-half factors. He completed 9 of 19 from the sector and 5 of 8 from deep, with a loud response following most each large shot. Teammates adopted go well with.
Edert made 5 of seven photographs together with each of his 3-point tries. Saint Peter’s completed 9 of 17 general from 3 and shot 29 of 57 general (50.9%). The Peacocks additionally stayed shut on the boards (35 to Kentucky’s 36) and made 18 of 21 from the road.
“It feels amazing, truly it feels amazing,” Edert stated. “They had a great crowd, a lot of people. I don’t know if you saw it, but we had our own little section over there, too.”
Kentucky was 26 of 61 (43%) general and 23 of 35 from the road. The Wildcats had been tentative at occasions with the ball, hesitation that ended with compelled photographs. And it led to a second consecutive loss to shut the season.
“My whole thing this week, because I knew they had never played in this stuff, was to get them free and loose and we never got to that point,” Calipari stated. “Even during timeouts, I was trying to do that. … As a coach it’s your job to figure out how to finish the game and we didn’t do that.”
After Banks’ go-ahead free throws, Kentucky had two empty possessions. Wheeler’s turnover led to a layup by Drane. Then KC Ndefo blocked Keion Brooks Jr.’s layup try, and Banks made two extra free throws.
Washington sank a 3 to get Kentucky inside 81-79 earlier than Lee and Edert sealed it on the line.
Earlier than taking up at Saint Peter’s, Holloway spent eight years as an assistant at his alma mater, Seton Corridor. He performed 4 years for the Pirates and skilled the highs and lows of the NCAA Match as a senior in 2000.
Holloway scored 27 factors and made the go-ahead basket with 1.9 seconds left in a first-round win over Oregon, however he was injured and performed solely eight minutes in a second-round win over Temple. He didn’t play when Seton Corridor was eradicated within the Candy 16 by Oklahoma State.
Saint Peter’s: The Peacocks didn’t flinch towards their extra proficient foe, maintaining with and generally dictating the tempo. Banks’ perimeter capturing was big within the first half earlier than he got here up late within the sport and in OT.
Kentucky: The Wildcats needed to work for almost each basket however succeeded at attending to the road. However they struggled shifting the ball and missed a number of key photographs that might have received the sport. As an alternative, they’re going house early a 12 months after lacking the match altogether.
Saint Peter’s hopes to repeat Oral Roberts’ run to the Candy 16 as a No. 15 seed final 12 months.
Extra AP protection of March Insanity: https://apnews.com/hub/march-madness and https://apnews.com/hub/ncaa-mens-bracket and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25