It's been a season of firsts for both No. 3 seed Purdue, which reached No. 1 in the AP poll for the first time in program history, and No. 15 seed Saint Peter's, the latter of which had its historical run come at the expense of the former, as the Peacocks upset the Boilermakers, 67-64, Friday night to become the first-ever No. 15 seed to advance to the Elite Eight. One year after Oral Roberts guard Max Abmas missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer that would've sent the 15th-seeded Golden Eagles to the Elite Eight over Arkansas, Saint Peter's took Oral Roberts' baton and finished the job.
As a player, Saint Peter's coach Shaheen Holloway helped Seton Hall reach the Sweet 16 as a No. 10 seed in 2000 — the last time a New Jersey-based program made the second weekend of the NCAA tournament — and now he has advanced one round further with another school from the Garden State.
The Peacocks have now defeated two of the top three seeds in the East region: in order, No. 2 seed Kentucky, No. 7 seed Murray State and No. 3 seed Purdue. They'll face a blue blood in the Elite Eight, as they'll meet the winner of No. 4 seed UCLA and No. 8 seed North Carolina.
Saint Peter's held Purdue's second-team AP All-American guard Jaden Ivey in check, holding him to just nine points on 4-of-12 shooting, plus six turnovers. He made a massive, high-arcing 3-pointer off the dribble from the left wing with eight seconds left to cut the deficit to 65-64, but Saint Peter's guard Doug Edert, whose 3-pointers helped sink Kentucky, made two free throws and Ivey's last-ditch 3-pointer to force overtime bounced off the front of the rim, then the backboard, sealing the Peacocks push to the Elite Eight.
"Jubilation in Jersey City," CBS play-by-play broadcaster Ian Eagle said on the broadcast after the final horn sounded.
Despite Purdue grabbing 14 more rebounds, 40 to 26, Saint Peter's attempted six more free throws and shot 90.5 percent from the stripe on their 21 attempts. Daryl Banks III scored a team-high 14 points, while Clarence Rupert added 11, including the team's first seven points, and Edert scored 10.
Purdue, which entered the game with the most efficient offense in the country, per kenpom.com, one that sank 38.8 percent of its 3-pointers, made just five of 21 attempts from deep. Every team from the Big Ten is now eliminated from the NCAA tournament after nine schools had their name called on Selection Sunday. The Boilermakers were picked to advance to the Elite Eight in 32.74 percent of entries in the official Bracket Challenge Game, compared to Saint Peter's being chosen in just 0.87 percent of brackets.