March Madness 2022: Saint Peter’s joins short list of college basketball teams to score No. 15 seed
Saint Peter’s battled their way into the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday after stunning the college basketball world with an upset against second-seeded Kentucky in the first round. It was the first NCAA tournament win in program history for the No. 15-seeded Peacocks, who became just the tenth team in March Madness history to win the rare 15 out of 2 in the first round.
Oral Roberts pulled off the feat in 2021 by upsetting Ohio State, which ended a four-year 15-seeded drought with tournament success. But since the expansion of the tournament in 1985, success for them has been rare.
Vegas odds said St. Peter would be do not join this exclusive list – it closed in dogs of 18.5 points – but Daryl Banks III’s 27 points and Doug Edert’s 20 points gave the Peacocks an 85-79 victory in extra time against the United Kingdom.
It’s not quite exclusive 16-to-1 territory for Saint Peter’s, a club that remains a party for UMBC. But joining a roster of just nine other teams to pull off such an upset is remarkable company to keep.
Here are the other nine previous instances.
2021: Oral Roberts 75, Ohio State 72 (OT): Oral Roberts became a dance darling a year ago when he toppled Ohio State as the 15th seed in overtime. The Golden Eagles were led by the nation’s top scorer, Max Abmas, who scored 29 points in the win, and sidekick Kevin Obanor, who led the way with 30 points. The Buckeyes shot 5 of 23 from 3-pointers in the loss.
2016: Middle Tennessee 90, Michigan State 81: One of the best Spartans teams coached by Tom Izzo fell short in 2016 when Middle Tennessee knocked them out in the first round. This game was similar to the Oral Roberts vs. Ohio State game in that Middle Tennessee was the aggressor early on. MTSU led 15-2 after five minutes and never looked back. They fell to 10th-seeded Syracuse – who went on to advance to the Final Four – in the second round.
2013: Florida Gulf Coast 78, Georgetown 68 — In Florida Gulf Coast’s second full year of Division I playoff eligibility, the Eagles presented themselves to the world as the top-flight group we all know as “Dunk City.” Led by coach Andy Enfield, the FGCU qualified for the Sweet 16 before falling to eventual runner-up North Carolina. Senior fullback Sherwood Brown had a team-high 24 points and second Bernard Thompson had 23.
2012: Norfolk State 86, Missouri 84 — Against one of the most fun Missouri teams in program history, Norfolk State toppled the Tigers 86-84. Missouri guard Phil Pressey had a decent look on a game-winning 3-pointer, but he bounced off the back iron and missed.
2012: Lehigh 75, Duke 70 — The CJ McCollum legend was officially born on March 16, 2012, when he led Lehigh to a 75-70 win over Duke. McCollum lost 30 points and played 39 minutes.
2001: Hampton 58, Iowa State 57 — A layup by Iowa State’s Jamaal Tinsley at the buzzer missed, giving Hampton its first NCAA Tournament win in program history. Pirates star Travis Williams was the hero of the day as his lane jumper in the final seconds put Hampton on top for good.
1997: Coppin State 78, South Carolina 65 — Coppin State needed two overtime wins in its conference tournament just to get to March Madness. But he became the third No. 15 seed to oust a No. 2 seed by beating South Carolina 78-65 to edge the SEC regular-season champions by 20 in the final 13 minutes of the game. .
1993: Santa Clara 64, Arizona 61 — Young guard Steve Nash scored 10 points and had 7 rebounds and 4 assists in Santa Clara’s stunning victory over Hall of Fame coach Lute Olson and Arizona. Nash missed a pair of free throws in the final 10 seconds, as did teammate Kevin Dunne, but the potential Wildcats 3-pointer just before the buzzer died.
1991: Richmond 73, Syracuse 69 — Richmond advanced to its third Round of 16 after beating Jim Boeheim and Syracuse 73-69. Syracuse was the Big East regular-season champion that year, led by three future first-rounders in Dave Johnson, Billy Owens and LeRon Ellis. Owens missed a 3-pointer when time expired.