March Madness: Saint Peter’s Becomes First 15-Seed to Make the Elite 8 After Win Over Purdue

by Jonathan Howard
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - MARCH 25: Daryl Banks III #5 of the St. Peter's Peacocks dribbles the ball as Jaden Ivey #23 of the Purdue Boilermakers defends in the second half of the game in the Sweet Sixteen round of the 2022 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Wells Fargo Center on March 25, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

They have done it again! The Saint Peter’s Peacocks are FLYING to the Elite 8. Coach Shaheen Holloway and his team have made history. No other 15-seed has ever made an Elite 8 in the NCAA Tournament and this was quite a run for the Peacocks. A small school from Jersey City, New Jersey that plays with defense and control has shocked the world.

There isn’t a better Cinderella Story than this one. Only three times have we seen a 15-seed in the Sweet 16. Now, for the first time ever we see one making it to the Elite 8. The regional final! Kentucky couldn’t do it. Murray State couldn’t do it. And now, Purdue has fallen victim to the train that is Saint Peter’s.

This was a low-scoring battle. In fact, this was the lowest-scoring game of the Peacocks run so far. Despite not having a true center on their team, this scrappy group has bullied great big men like Oscar Tschibwe, KJ Williams, and tonight they got into Zach Edey and Trevion Williams just enough. The two big guys down low might have combined for 27 points, but that didn’t stop the Boilermakers from making 14 turnovers.

When you look at the team stats, it is even more insane that the Peacocks pulled this win out. Saint Peter’s only hit 38.9% of their shots, 21/54. Purdue hit 42.6% and that was 23/54 from the field. Both teams shot 21 three-point shots and the Peacocks edged their opponent by one with 6 deep makes.

On the night, Holloway’s squad did hit 19/21 free throws compared to 13/15 on the other side. The Boilermakers outrebounded the 15-seed team 42-26 and 15-8 on the offensive end. It isn’t often you will see a team lose a game after outrebounding the other team like that.

Saint Peter’s Dancing to the Elite 8

Once again, it was Matthew Lee, Daryl Banks III, and Doug Edert. No one scored 20 points in this game for St. Peter’s but almost every player that got in had 3 points or more. Oumar Diahame was the only one that didn’t score with playing time tonight.

Banks III led his team with 14 points and Clarence Rupert followed that up with 11 points. Edert was the third double-digit scorer for Saint Peter’s with 10 points. These guards for Saint Peter’s are some of the best in the tournament. From defense to offense, this team just plays quality basketball. They aren’t scared of anybody.

This really looked like Purdue was going to battle back and win in the closing minutes. However, it just wasn’t meant to be. This team of Peacocks is made for destiny. 67-64 final. Saint Peter’s is in the Elite 8 and will await the winner of UNC and UCLA.