NCAA Tournament: Does the Cinderella Slipper Fit for Princeton?


March 18

The Princeton Tigers were a 14.5-point underdog coming into their First-Round game in the NCAA Tournament against the two-seed Arizona Wildcats. It was a classic David versus Goliath matchup.

The Tigers and Wildcats both won their conference tournaments. It was a back-and-forth game, but they squandered a 12-point second-half lead as the Tigers finished a 9-0 run to take down the Wildcats 59-50 in a shocking upset.

Tosan Evbuomwan was the only Tiger to score in double digits on Thursday when he led Princeton with 15 points. He added seven rebounds and four assists to his ledger.

Can Princeton Make a Run?

Princeton enters the game on a five-game winning streak and has seemingly gotten very hot, a key for a March run for a Cinderella team.

Princeton’s guard play was better than Arizona’s and will be a key against Missouri. However, the Princeton Tigers went 4-25 from three-point range, which is not a good recipe for a deep March run. Also, the Tigers were just 3-5 from the free-throw line against Arizona. If Princeton struggled to hit threes, they must get to the line. Princeton’s defense was the key to the win over the Wildcats, as the Tigers had eight steals and six blocks. Was this a fluke win? The box score seems to make it out to be one.

How Far Can They Go?

After the upset of Arizona, all eyes will be on Princeton when they take on the seven-seed Missouri Tigers on Saturday evening in Sacramento. Princeton (+6.5) is an obvious underdog against Missouri, as Princeton’s defense will have a tough task slowing down Missouri’s offense, averaging 79.4 points per game. Princeton is one of several teams who are a long shot to win a national title (+50000), but their odds to make the Sweet 16 or Elite Eight are not listed. While it was a fun watch on Thursday, having Princeton make a deep run into the Tournament may be too much to ask.

Thumbnail photo via Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

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