March Madness Roundup: UNC upsets defending champs while St. Peter’s and more move into the Sweet 16
Indianapolis, Indiana - The Saint Peter’s Peacocks pulled off another impressive win, this time by holding off the Murray State Racers 70-60 during Saturday’s second-round action.
The Peacocks' spot in the Sweet 16 has been solidified, and their continued run through the men’s basketball tournament has made them out to be this year’s "Cinderella story."
They are the first program in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference to make it to the third round of the NCAA tournament.
Saint Peter’s led the game from start to finish, fighting off a number of ties through the first half to go into the break ahead 32-27.
The tough battle continued into the second half and even though the Peacocks were at one point up by 10, the Racers wouldn’t go away quietly, getting as close as three points away with over seven minutes left in regulation.
But Saint Peter’s stayed strong, including knocking down some crucial free throws with under a minute to play, punching their ticket to the next round.
Senior forward KC Ndefo (22) led his team with 17 points off of 5-for-10 shooting from the field, 10 rebounds, and six blocks.
The Peacocks will get to enjoy some time off before playing in their third-round game on Friday, March 25.
Bouncing around the brackets
Another big upset took place on Saturday as the North Carolina Tar Heels needed overtime to eliminate the defending national champions and advance to the Sweet 16 round. The Tar Heels beat the Baylor Bears 93-86, now making this year’s title truly up for grabs. Sophomore guard RJ Davis played in all 45 minutes of the matchup to score a game-high 30 points in UNC’s win.
The Michigan Wolverines were also in the upset business after taking out the third-seeded Tennessee Volunteers 76-68.
The top-seeded Kansas Jayhawks have moved on by holding off the Creighton Bluejays 79-72, while the UCLA Bruins beat the Saint Mary’s Gaels 72-56.
In a low-scoring affair, the Arkansas Razorbacks won against the New Mexico State Aggies 53-48.
The Providence Friars are moving on to the Sweet 16 as well after crushing the Richmond Spiders 79-51.
And the overall tournament top-seed, the Gonzaga Bulldogs, survived their second-round matchup against the Memphis Tigers, winning 82-78.
The third round of the men’s basketball tournament begins on Thursday, March 24.
Cover photo: Twitter/@PeacocksMBB