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Saint Peter’s shocks No. 2 seed Kentucky 85-79 in OT – The Denver Post



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 Tournament on Thursday night time, they calmly exchanged handshakes with the Wildcats earlier than heading over to the other sideline to have a good time with a small contingent of true believers.

The tiny Jesuit college from Jersey City, New Jersey, bought 27 factors from Daryl Banks III because it took down basketball royalty, beating second-seeded Kentucky 85-79 in extra time and sending numerous brackets into the digital wastebasket.

“It was an amazing feeling,” Banks mentioned. “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 because the event expanded to 64 groups in 1985 and handed Kentucky its first opening-round loss underneath 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 mentioned.

Saint Peter’s, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference champion, saved it shut all through and Banks’ two free throws with 1:45 left in extra time gave the Peacocks the lead for good. Doug Edert’s layup with 24 seconds left in regulation despatched the sport to extra 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 Region.

Not dangerous for a college with an enrollment of about 3,500 that’s made half as many NCAA Tournament appearances (4) as Kentucky has nationwide titles (eight). Kentucky had practically 31,800 college students enrolled on its 900-acre campus as of final fall and has the second highest-paid coach in school hoops in Calipari (greater than $8 million per yr).

“It’s huge,” Banks mentioned. “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 extra time was pricey, and the Wildcats lacked a dependable secondary scorer. TyTy Washington Jr. was held to 5 factors on 2-of-10 taking pictures.

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 yr honors. And Kentucky was taking part in 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 mentioned.

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 total from 3 and shot 29 of 57 total (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 mentioned. “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%) total and 23 of 35 from the road. The Wildcats have been tentative at instances 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 mentioned. “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.”

TURNING POINT

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.

BITTERSWEET MEMORIES

Before taking up at Saint Peter’s, Holloway spent eight years as an assistant at his alma mater, Seton Hall. He performed 4 years for the Pirates and skilled the highs and lows of the NCAA Tournament 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 Hall was eradicated within the Sweet 16 by Oklahoma State.

BIG PICTURE

Saint Peter’s: The Peacocks didn’t flinch in opposition to their extra gifted foe, maintaining with and typically dictating the tempo. Banks’ perimeter taking pictures was enormous within the first half earlier than he got here up late within the sport and in OT.

Kentucky: The Wildcats needed to work for practically each basket however succeeded at attending to the road. But they struggled shifting the ball and missed a number of key photographs that would have gained the sport. Instead, they’re going residence early a yr after lacking the event altogether.

UP NEXT

Saint Peter’s hopes to repeat Oral Roberts’ run to the Sweet 16 as a No. 15 seed final yr.

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More AP protection of March Madness: https://apnews.com/hub/march-madness and https://apnews.com/hub/ncaa-mens-bracket and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25





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