The madness of March is upon us, and with it comes the thrilling unpredictability that has come to define the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. On Thursday, Tosan Evbuomwan and the Princeton Tigers executed a late-game surge. Clinching the school’s first NCAA Tournament victory in 25 years with a 59-55 win over the highly-seeded Arizona Wildcats. Stick to know more about the wild ending of #15 Princeton vs #2 Arizona!
PRINCETON WITH THE STUNNER 😱
How are those brackets looking? pic.twitter.com/CSZHla2GQB
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) March 16, 2023
The game had all the makings of a classic upset. Arizona, a team with a storied history of tournament success, came into the game as heavy favorites over the Princeton squad.
Wild Ending of #15 Princeton vs #2 Arizona in March Madness
This is the 11th time in NCAA tournament history, and the third consecutive year, that a No. 15 seed has pulled off a stunning upset against a No. 2 seed. The streak began in 2021 when Oral Roberts toppled Ohio State, followed by Saint Peter’s victory over Kentucky in 2022.
- Princeton was behind throughout the game but managed to take the lead with over the last two minutes left. They overcame a 12-point deficit in the second half by limiting Arizona to only 24 points in the entire half.
- Despite being favored for a deep tournament run, the Wildcats, who had won the Pac-12 championship just last weekend, were eliminated in the Round of 64. While with this win, the Ivy League champs advance to play No. 7 seed Missouri in the second round on Saturday.
What went wrong for Arizona?
PRINCETON DEFEATS ARIZONA. pic.twitter.com/6EWxyM8HkZ
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) March 16, 2023
Arizona scored just four points in the final eight minutes of the game. Princeton went on an 18-point run in that same time period. The Wildcats did not score at all in the last 4:43.
Arizona took a 31-22 lead towards the end of the first half, but Princeton responded with an 8-0 run. In the second half, the Wildcats went up 47-35 with almost 12 minutes left, but that’s when Princeton staged another comeback.
Princeton managed to match Arizona in all aspects of the game, but it was their exceptional defense that secured their victory. They held one of the nation’s most potent offenses to a season-low 55 points.
Victories of No. 15s over No. 2s
The NCAA Tournament history shows that No. 2 seeds have won only 11 out of 150 games against No. 15 seeds, following Princeton’s triumph over Arizona.
|1991||Richmond defeats Syracuse||73-69|
|1993||Santa Clara defeats Arizona||64-61|
|1997||Coppin State defeats South Carolina||78-65|
|2001||Hampton defeats Iowa State||58-57|
|2012||Lehigh defeats Duke||75-70|
|2012||Norfolk State def. Missouri||86-84|
|2013||Florida Gulf Coast defeats Georgetown||78-68|
|2016||Middle Tennessee defeats Michigan State||90-81|
|2021||Oral Roberts defeats Ohio State||75-72|
|2022||Saint Peter’s defeats Kentucky||85-79|
|2023||Princeton defeats Arizona||59-55|
Arizona didn’t do well as everyone expected
Despite losing three players to the 2022 NBA Draft from last season’s Sweet 16 squad, Arizona had exceeded expectations for much of the season. However, their vulnerability to upsets ultimately proved to be their undoing.
Even before Princeton’s matchup with Arizona was announced on Selection Sunday, the Wildcats had already suffered some perplexing defeats. Their first shocker was a 15-point loss to Utah on December 1st.
So if you’re a fan of college basketball, don’t miss the highlights of the wild ending of #15 Princeton vs #2 Arizona in March Madness! Well, I guess you never know when history will be made and a new Cinderella story will be written.
What did you think about this match? Do let us know in the comments down below!
Source: CBS Sports
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