Princeton was this close to first March Madness shocker

17 March, 2017, 01:29 | Author: Felix Jensen
  • NCAA Tournament West Region Huggins

Notre Dame survived Princeton, 60-58, in a classic 5-12 match-up at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York to advance to play the victor of West Virginia and Bucknell in the second round.

"We've been in games like that".

First round, West region; Buffalo, New York.; 12:15 p.m. EDT. It was the opportunity that Princeton needed to sneak back into it.

Princeton missed a first chance to tie when Will Gladson was off on a wide open three attempt at the 5:31 juncture after the Irish misfired on four shots in a row.

Princeton enjoyed three players in double-digits, including 15 points from Spencer Weisz.

Princeton's Devin Cannady could've won the game with this 3-pointer in the closing seconds.

A little later, senior forward Stephen Cook nailed a corner 3 to bring it within one.

Colson swam through his defender to put in a layup with two minutes remaining to put the Irish back up by three. And while they're a bit weak on the offensive boards, Notre Dame is a team that will not be able to punish them there. Head coach Mike Brey has repeatedly called this his "best defensive team" he's had in his 17 seasons at Notre Dame.

The Princeton Tigers can boast one edge over the Fighting Irish in their first-round matchup.

"I'd love to have a blood pressure monitor on myself during the game".

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"It would have been sweet if he hit it that's for sure", Ravotto said. "Coaching this group keeps me calm because they have been so poised in close games".

This story has been corrected to reflect Notre Dame losing to Duke in the ACC final instead of semifinal. This group's been through a lot. But that type of shot doesn't go in a lot. Farrell would miss a free throw on the one-and-one that could have iced the game. It didn't go in, we're here now, we have another chance to go on.

Notre Dame trailed for all of 17 seconds in the first half, led by as many as eight and was up 36-30 at intermission. Vasturia, the do-it-all guard, scored 10 points while grabbing eight boards, but did so on just 3-of-12 shooting. "We were poised, we were confident". "It doesn't matter how you got there".

Matt Farrell struggled in the second half as the Irish offense went stagnant. I can't be more appreciative of them, especially as a senior. "We've done that, we're in there", he said. "We even blocked a couple".

Said Cannady, wiping tears from his face: "I thought it was going in". As a standout at Marian, he was the star of the team before heading off to Princeton. "And we had to win it playing defense".

A large reason for the Tigers' loss was their poor shooting from behind the arc. Despite his poor shooting day, V.J. Beachem added six rebounds and a steal in the win.

Most everyone was cheering on Notre Dame in their first game of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, but for several Marian alum, they were facing a win-win situation.

"I knew I got hit, but I thought it was going to be a shiner", Pflueger said. "That doesn't separate us from anybody else as far the fact we still have to lace them up Thursday". "He's too pretty, so we can't stitch him". Beachem shot 1-of-9 and scored just two points while Vasturia shot 3-of-12 and had 10 points. Farrell picked up 16 on the game, and Ryan notched six points in the first 20 minutes.

Despite his injury, Colson was the best player on the floor.

The Notre Dame-Princeton victor faces the victor of West Virginia-Bucknell in the second round on Saturday. We've got your back.

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