For the next millennium, it will be impossible for 99.99% of the populace to think about Saint Peter’s basketball and not immediately think about the 2021-22 team. After their miracle run to the Elite 8, becoming the first 15 seed to win three games, the Peacocks captured the national spotlight.
However, Doug Edert, KC Ndefo, and company moved on, and Shaheen Holloway is just about done with his first year at his alma mater, Seton Hall. In Jersey City, former Wagner head man Bashir Mason has taken the reigns, and was tasked with rebuilding the Peacocks on the fly. Out with the aforementioned Ndefo and Edert, along with many others, and in with Jayden Saddler, Kyle Cardaci, Corey Washington, and more.
After a disappointing regular season had the Peacocks finishing tenth in the MAAC standings, Bashir Mason reflected on what he learned from his first year in the league.
“I think the biggest thing was, in this league, you can play well, and lose the game,” he said.
They haven’t had such hard luck this week. Fresh off their overtime win over Siena, the Peacocks dominated Fairfield on Tuesday night, and then, knocked off No. 2 seed Rider in order to make it back to the semifinals of the MAAC Tournament.
Twitter reacted in accordance.
St. PETER's IS DOING IT AGAIN!!! holy shit. good luck in the semi's #marchmadness— Mark Davenport (@markymark1124) March 9, 2023
Let me see your Peacocks, cocks, cocks. Your Peacocks. pic.twitter.com/liFTLS1f30— The College Basketball Stories Podcast (@theCBBstories) March 9, 2023
With Seton Hall’s heartbreaking loss to DePaul, you knew somebody would make this tweet (although, worth mentioning that FDU is going to the NCAA Tournament, Princeton still has a good chance, and Rutgers has a strong chance at an at large).
St. Peter's: clearly the premier college basketball program in New Jersey. #MAACHoops— Brian Daly (@briandalynj) March 9, 2023
Everybody loves scarred Kentucky fans.
SOMEONE IN THE MAAC PLEASE BEAT SAINT PETER'S. I can't do this again.— Bobby Reagan (@BarstoolReags) March 9, 2023
Heck even Purdue fans were getting in on the action.
And some people trying to trigger Purdue fans.
It would be an incredible bit if Saint Peter’s somehow won the MAAC, got a 16 seed, and then eliminated Purdue again— Bracket Insider Jeff Everson (@EVR551) March 9, 2023
Others poked fun at the fact that the Peacocks were once again upsetting a No. 2 seed.
saint peter's vs 2 seeds pic.twitter.com/TuAyc04JPr— *ꜰᴏʟʟᴏᴡ ꜰᴏʀ ʜᴏᴏᴘꜱ ꜱʟᴀɴᴅᴇʀ* (@HateCentralNCAA) March 9, 2023
Even some MAAC Fans are starting to get sick of it.
Starting to get realllll uncomfortable with st. peter’s shenanigans #MAACHoops— Dan Aulbach (@AulbachDan) March 9, 2023
It wasn’t on the Mid-Major Madness Bingo card, but you had to know this tweet was coming from Nick.
COCKS— Mid-Major Madness (@mid_madness) March 9, 2023
And here’s a combination of scarred Kentucky fans, and a two-seed joke.
Saint Peter's beating a 2 seed... pic.twitter.com/BB9PUFHrTa— Brady Burns (@BradyBurns2004) March 9, 2023
As for the game itself, sophomore guard Jaylen “Juju” Murray put in yet another stellar performance, as one of the very few Holloway holdovers, he’s proving his talent on the MAAC’s final, and most important stage. The shifty guard has back to back 20 point performances, including a late mid-range dagger that extended the Peacock lead over Rider to five last night.
Senegalese freshman Mouhamed Sow had just his third double-digit scoring game of the year and finished just one rebound shy of his first career double-double. It was the best performance of his young career, and it helped propel the Peacocks to a Friday night matchup with the winner of No. 3 Quinnipiac and No. 11 Marist.
One year after No. 11 Quinnipiac made a run to the semifinals in Atlantic City, the Peacocks became the first 10 seed in the history of the MAAC Tournament to win two games and advance to the final four. While a run to the NCAA Tournament is still extremely unlikely, crazier things have happened with this Peacock program.
As for Rider, a bad 40 minutes ruined a good couple of months, and they lost before the semifinals for the 10th time in the last eleven MAAC tournaments.
Tonight, the MAAC Men’s Tournament continues on ESPN+ with the aforementioned Marist-Quinnipiac game at 7:00 p.m., and a matchup between No. 4 Siena and No. 5 Niagara at 9:30 p.m.