For those who don't know, Saint Peter's men's basketball team plays its home games out of Run Baby Run Arena in Jersey City, N.J. — an homage to the 1967-68 team that scored 94 points per game.
If the 2021-22 Peacocks continue their impressive March Madness run, however, the university could perhaps be persuaded to rename it "Dance Baby Dance Arena." After all, Saint Peter's 70-60 second-round victory over 7-seed Murray State gave the program its second East Stroudsburg Warriors clothes -ever NCAA Tournament victory after previously going 0-3 in the big dance.
MORE: What to know about 15-seed Saint Peter's
The Peacocks' win isn't historic just for the program, either. With the NCAA Crewneck SweatJerseys ir victory over the Racers — which followed an incredible 85-79 upset of 2-seed Kentucky in the opening round — Saint Peter's is just the third 15-seed team in the NCAA Tournament's expanded bracket era to reach the Sweet 16.
The only other 15 seeds to reach this stage of the NCAA Tournament came in the last 10 years: Florida Gulf Coast's "D NCAA Baby Clothing unk City" squad in 2013, and Oral Roberts in 2021.
FGCU made history when it made the Sweet 16 in 2013. Oral Roberts' accomplishment demanded comparison when it replicated the feat in 2021. So too, do the exploits of the tiny Jesuit college from Jersey City, N.J. With that, The Sporting News breaks down how the Peacocks' Sweet 16 run compares to that of the Golden Eagles and Eagles:
MORE: Who is Shaheen Holloway? Meet the Saint Peter's coach behind upset of Kentucky
History of 15 seeds in the Sweet 16
As has been the case for each of the prior two 15 seeds to make the Sweet 16, Saint Peter's earned their NCAA Tournament bid by winning their conference tournament: The Peacocks won the 2022 MAAC Tournament by beating Monmouth 60-53 in the championship game.
The Peacocks have won nine straight (including in the NCAA Tournament), a run that is made all the more impressive considering the team went 3-6 in December, had five games postponed or canceled due to COVID-19 and did not play a single game from Dec. 22 through Jan. 14 (hat WVU vs. Pitt Rivalry Shirts tip to WBTV's Jason Huber).
FGCU — winners of the 2013 Atlantic Sun Tournament — made history as the first 15-seed to make the Sweet 16 in 2013. Oral Roberts — the Summit League Tournament champions — followed suit in 2021 as the second such team to do so.
Both teams' March Madness runs ended in that round, however, to 3 seeds: FGCU to 3-seed Florida and Oral Roberts to Arkansas. The Eagles lost to the Gators by a score of 62-50; the Golden Eagles lost to the Razorbacks 72-70.
Can the Peacocks go further than either of their predecessors? Or will history continue with yet another third-round exit for the Cinderella team?
Saint Peter's, Oral Roberts, FGCU's Sweet 16 runs
Saint Peter's: 2-seed Kentucky, 7-seed Murray State, 3-seed Purdue
Saint Peter's has arguably the most impressive opening victory of their Sweet 16 run, at least in name recognition: The Peacocks beat 2-seed Kentucky, among the bluest of blue-blood programs in college basketball, to give John Calipari arguably his worst loss ever in the NCAA Tournament. That's compounded by the fact Saint Peter's overcame a 68-62 deficit with just over four minutes left in regulation, tying the game and sending it to overtime tied 71-71. The Chaminade University Silverswords Jerseys Peacocks overcame two quick buckets from Sporting News Player of the Year Oscar Tshiebwe to outscore the Wildcats 14-4 in the 85-79 victory.
Like their predecessors, the Peacocks advanced to beat a 7-seed in the tournament, this one Murray State (against whom Saint Peter's never trailed). The Peacocks will face 3-seed Purdue in the Sweet 16.
Oral Roberts: 2-seed Ohio State, 7-seed Florida, 3-seed Arkansas
The Golden Eagles team, which earned the program's first NCAA Tournament bid since 2008, drew Ohio State — the sixth overall seed in the tournament and Big Ten runner up — in the tournament's opening round. Oral Roberts eventually pulled away with a 75-72 overtime win. The Golden Eagles persevered again vs. Florida in Round 2, overcoming an 11-point deficit in the final 9:43 of play to win 81-78.
Florida Gulf Coast: 2-seed Georgetown, 7-seed San Diego State, 3-seed Florida
The Eagles drew 2-seed Georgetown — an at-large bid — in the first round of M Emory Eagles shirt arch Madness. FGCU shocked John Thompson III's Hoyas, beating them 78-68. The Eagles enjoyed another double-digit-point victory two days later, upending 7-seed San Diego State 81-71. FGCU's Cinderella run ended against the in-state Gators in a 62-50 loss.
HISTORY OF UPSETS BY SEED:
15 vs. 2 | 14 vs. 3 | 13 vs. 4 | 12 vs. 5
Margin of victory
- Saint Peter's: 8.0 points per game
- Oral Roberts: 3.0 points per game
- Florida Gulf Coast: 10.0 points per game
Stats reflect NCAA Tournament numbers
- Doug Edert: 16.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.0 apg, .692 field goal percentage, .750 3-point percentage
- KC Ndefo: 12.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 4.0 bpg
- Daryl Banks III: 16.5 ppg, .545 3-point percentage
- Hassan Drame: 7.5 pgg, 8.0 rpg, .666 field goal percentage
Daryl Banks III was the Peacocks' leading scorer in their win over Kentucky, scoring 27 points on 9-of-19 shooting from the field (including 5 of 8 from beyond the arc). Doug Edert, quickly becoming the face of this year's March Madness darlings, came off the bench to sc UNC vs. Duke Rivalry shirt ore an impressive 20 points. Those two combined to score nine of the Colorado School of Mines Orediggers Jerse Michigan vs. Ohio State Rivalry Jerseys ys Peacocks' 14 points in the opening-round victory, which included a clutch 6-for-6 showing from the free throw line.
Another key contributor to the Peacocks' run is KC Ndefo, who flirted with a triple-double against the Racers with 17 points, 10 rebounds and six blocks. He also had two blocks against the Wildcats on Thursday. Hassan Drame has also been a consistent rebounder in the run, nabbing eight in both the first and second rounds.
- Max Abmas: 27.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 5.0 apg, .421 field goal percentage, .411 3-point percentage
- Kevin Obanor: 29.0 ppg, 11.0 rpg, .486 field goal percentage
Sophomore guard Max Abmas headlined the Golden Eagles as the Division I leader in points per game heading into the tournament. Junior forward Kevin Obanor was equally impressive in t Kentucky vs. Louisville Rivalry Shirts he tournament, as both players averaged nearly 30 points per game. Obanor also averaged a double double with 11 rebounds in each of his first two games.
Florida Gulf Coast
- Sherwood Brown: 18.3 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 1.0 apg, 1.3 spg, .559 field goal percentage
- Bernard Thompson: 10 ppg, 5.3 Rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.3 spg, 1.7 bpg, .542 field goal percentage
- Brett Comer: 8.7 ppg, 10.3 apg, 4.0 rpg,
- Chase Fieler: 17.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.3 apg, 2.0 spg
Senior guard Sherwood Brown — the 2012-13 Atlantic Sun Player of the Year — led the Eagles' Sweet 16 run. The former walk-on had 18.3 points per game and 7.7 rebounds per game. Sophomore guard Bernard Thompson and junior Chase Fieler also averaged double-digit scoring for the tournament. Sophomore guard Brett Comer averaged 10.3 assists per game.