PHILADELPHIA – Saint Peter’s has gone where no 15 seed has ever gone before: the Elite Eight, and now the Peacocks attempt to continue this historic run with a trip to the Final Four.
Standing in their way are the eighth-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels in a matchup no one could have seen coming.
Saint Peter’s defeated No. 2 Kentucky in overtime, No. 7 Murray State and No. 3 Purdue to reach this point. After sitting just one game over .500 the last week of February, the Peacocks have won 10 straight games – the longest active streak in the country.
During this 10-game winning streak, SPU has allowed just 56.6 points per game.
“It’s a dream,” coach Shaheen Holloway said, according to Daly Dose of Hoops. “I don’t want to wake up and these guys don’t want to wake up. We want to continue living in this dream we’re in right now.”
They closed out the regular season with four straight wins to earn the second seed in the MAAC Tournament. They then won three straight in Atlantic City, N.J., to take home their first conference crown in 11 years.
In the first round of the NCAA Tournament, the Peacocks topped Kentucky 85-79 in OT. SPU knocked down nine of their 17 3-point attempts (53%). They limited the Wildcats to 4-for-15 (27%) from beyond the arc. Daryl Banks III set a career-high with 27 points on 5-of-8 from 3-point land. Doug Edert stole the show with 20 points off the bench.
Two days later, in the round of 32, SPU posted a wire-to-wire 70-60 victory over Murray State. The Peacocks won the rebounding battle by seven and grabbed 13 offensive boards. KC Ndefo amassed 17 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks. Edert was also in double figures with 13 points.
As the first MAAC team to reach the second weekend, Saint Peter’s knocked off Purdue 67-64 to secure its spot in the Elite Eight. This was the Boilermakers’ second-lowest point total this season as they shot just 24% (5-for-21) from 3-point land. The Peacocks outscored Purdue 15-8 over the final 4:02.
“We’re just wearing people out,” Edert said, according to Daly Dose of Hoops. “I feel like it comes down to the end of the game, where it’s like, we either win this game or go home. And we refuse to go home.”
Edert produced 10 points. Clarence Rupert, playing in his hometown of Philadelphia, scored 11. Banks notched a team-high 14 points.
Elite Eight Details
Matchup: No. 15 Saint Peter’s vs. No. 8 North Carolina
Date and Time: Sunday, March 27 at 5:05 p.m. ET
Location: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia
DraftKings Line: North Carolina -8, O/U 137