AND the clock struck 12, the carriage turned into a pumpkin, and the Cinderella story was over. The Saint Peter’s Universitythe greatest miracle in NCAA history, woke up from his dream and put an end to his March Madness adventure after falling to Michael Jordan’s North Carolinawho pulled from tradition to become the villain of this fairy tale.
The group led by Hubert Davis won 69-49 Shaheen Holloway’s team to reach the 21st Final Four in its history. She did it thanks to the performance of Armando Bacotwhich ends with 20 points and 22 reboundsBeing the first player to sign a 20+20 since Akeem Olajuwon did it with the University of Houston in 1983.
Carolina (28-9), seeded number 8, arrives in New Orleans to experience the most classic duel in the NCAA… that until now had never been experienced in a Final Four. The Tar Heels will face the Duke Blue Devils and they will try to be the last rival of the mythical Mike Krzyzewski, who has already embittered his dismissal as a local coach at Duke.
The great history of the NCAA
Although Coach K’s winding road to retirement has been one of the great stories of this ‘March Madness,’ nothing has captured the imagination more during this NCAA Tournament than Saint Peter’s streak. The total basketball budget for this Jersey City, New Jersey, group is $1.6 million, or about $400,000 less than Davis earns in a year.
The first-year coach sobbed as his players swarmed him behind the buzzer. “It was something he desperately wanted for them,” Davis said. “This is probably the most nervous I’ve ever been before a game, because I really wanted them to get to the Final Four.”
“I didn’t really recognize my team for the first 10 minutes of the game,” Peacocks coach Shaheen Holloway said. After Carolina’s Leaky Black missed a free throw in the 2 1/2 minutes, Bacot stepped up to grab the offensive rebound and win the ball back. This gave Carolina a 7-0 lead. In their three tournament wins over Kentucky, Murray State and Purdue, Saint Peter’s hadn’t lost by more than six.
Duke and North Carolina will play one of the semifinals of the university tournament, while Kansas will face Villanova after coming back from their quarterfinal match against the University of Miami. The two semifinals will be played next Saturday, April 2 at Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. A court that will also host the grand final on Sunday, April 3.