Princeton powers past Arizona for upset
FRIDAY saw the first upset in the March Madness tournament, with the Princeton Tigers taking down the second-seeded Arizona Wildcats to the tune of four points at Golden 1 Centre.
The Tigers came into the match ranked 15th in their division, and faced a tough matchup against the Wildcats, who were one of the form sides coming into the game.
Instead, Princeton delivered a terrific performance in the second half to take the lead after trailing at the main break. Despite facing some tough competition against a talented Arizona roster, the Tigers held on to snatch a 59-55 triumph and advance to the next stage.
For the Tigers, Tosan Evbuomwan led the way to finish with 15 points, seven rebounds and four assists. He shot 7/15 from the field, with most of his attempts coming from two-point territory, putting up just one shot from three-point territory.
The forward was the only double-digit scorer for Princeton in the match, in what was an extremely balanced scoring performance.
Seven Princeton players registered six or more points, with plenty of avenues to scoring, which was too much for the Wildcats when it mattered most down the stretch.
For the Wildcats, Azuolas Tubelis was the standout, registering a game-high 22 points on 9/20 shooting from the field.
What made his total so remarkable was the fact that Arizona only produced 55 points as a team, so he was the star of the show. Unfortunately, the sheer volume of scorers for the Tigers was too much for him.
Guard Matt Allocco spoke of the team’s belief postmatch.
“Pretty surreal feeling,” he said. “To beat a great team like that on this stage is a pretty special feeling, but also I can’t say I’m surprised. This team has been so good all year, so gritty.
“On paper, it’s going to look like a big upset. But we believe in each other and we think we’re a really good team. When we’re at our best, then I think we can beat anybody in the country.”