March Madness: Princeton becomes the fourth No. 15 seed to make the Sweet 16

A No. 15 seed is in the Sweet 16 for the third consecutive season.

Princeton easily beat No. 7 Missouri 78-63 to advance to the Sweet 16 on Saturday. The Tigers from New Jersey led nearly the entire game and pulled away in the second half after Missouri tried to make it a contest.

Princeton is just the fourth No. 15 seed to make the Sweet 16. St. Peter’s was the third in 2022 and became the first No. 15 to make the Elite Eight when it beat Purdue in the third round of the tournament. Oral Roberts was the second No. 15 to make the Sweet 16 in 2021.

The Ivy League champions were just 4-of-25 from the 3-point line in their upset win over No. 2 Arizona on Thursday. That performance was atypical of an NCAA tournament upset. Massive underdogs usually win because they shoot well from behind the arc.

Princeton progressed back to the mean on Saturday. The Tigers hit 12 3-pointers and picked apart Missouri’s zone in the second half. Blake Peters came off the bench to hit five 3-pointers while Ryan Langborg had 22 points to lead all scorers.

Missouri finished fourth in the SEC during the regular season and was at its best when it scored more than 65 points. Fewer than 65 points usually meant a loss. Mizzou shot less than 40% from the field as a team and shot just 30% from deep.

Mizzou was also the worst rebounding team in the SEC and got dominated on the boards by Princeton. Mizzou was out-rebounded by 16 as Princeton got a ton of second-chance opportunities on the offensive glass.