Princeton Tigers Pull off Stunning Upset Over Arizona Wildcats in NCAA Tournament
On Thursday, March 16th, the 15th-seeded Princeton Tigers pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the NCAA tournament so far this year, topping the 2-seed Arizona Wildcats 59-55 in Sacramento. The Tigers had not won an NCAA tournament game since 2010, making their win over the Wildcats even more impressive.
The Wildcats had come into the game as 14.5 point favorites, but the Princeton defense was able to hold the Pac-12 Tournament champions to just six points in the final 11 minutes of the game. Princeton's leading scorer, Tosan Evbuomwan, poured in 15 points over 36 minutes of play to lead the way for the Tigers.
Arizona's top scorer, Azuolas Tubelis, had 22 points, but the Wildcats were unable to come in clutch during the late game drought. Princeton used double teams and clever defense to make sure the Wildcats stayed off the board. Ryan Langborg scored the go-ahead basket with 2:03 left, and the Tigers hit clutch free throws to seal the win.
Princeton's win marked the third straight year and 11th time overall that a 15-seed has won a first-round game. Arizona is the only school to have suffered two of these shocking defeats, with losses to Steve Nash and Santa Clara in 1993 being among them.
Arizona's coach, Sean Miller, spoke after the game, noting that his players may have been a bit too nervous or expecting an easier game than what it was. He noted that “nothing great in life is achieved without energy and enthusiasm” and that his players need to take a look at that.
Now, Princeton will take on No. 7 seed Missouri in the Round of 32, with the winner advancing to the Sweet 16. It will be the Tigers' first appearance in the Sweet 16 since 1999.
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1. “Princeton shocks Arizona, pulls off late run for biggest March Madness upset thus far” Fox News, 16 Mar. 2023, https://www.foxnews.com/sports/princeton-shocks-arizona-pulls-off-late-run-biggest-march-madness-upset
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