Saint Peter’s pulled off the biggest upset of this NCAA Tournament, becoming the 10th No. 15 seed to topple a No. 2 seed. The Peacocks upset No. 2 Kentucky, a national title contender, with a win of 85 -79 in overtime in the first round Thursday at Indianapolis.
Saint Peter’s, an older half from Jersey City, New Jersey and MAAC tournament automatic bid winner at the Big Dance, won his first NCAA Tournament game in his first appearance since 2011. This will be remembered as one of the most big surprise losses in coach John Calipari’s tenure with Kentucky; it’s his first first-round loss since he took over the show in 2009.
Daryl Banks III led the Peacocks (20-11) offensively in the upset, finishing with 27 points on five 3-pointers. Banks’ free throws with 1:45 left gave Saint Peter’s a 77-76 lead in overtime. USA TODAY Sports National Player of the Year Oscar Tshiebwe stood out in overtime with big buckets. He finished with 30 points and 15 rebounds.
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But Saint Peter’s junior shooting guard Doug Edert (20 points off the bench) was arguably the star of the game with his play in the crucial moments. His 3-pointer with 2:41 remaining in overtime made it 75-7 when the Peacocks needed a jumper to get their momentum back.
At the end of regulation time, Edert reached the limit. His running back with 21 seconds left tied the score at 71-71 to force overtime and his 3-pointer at the top of the key with 1:18 left gave the Peacocks a momentous 69-68 lead. . Saint Peter guard Matthew Lee made two decisive free throws with 22 seconds remaining to help seal the game.
“I’ve got guys that have a chip on their shoulder,” Saint Peter coach Shaheen Holloway said after the game. “I have guys who think they can play for Kentucky.”
Kentucky shot itself in the foot in multiple ways, most notably going 1-for-6 from the free throw line in overtime. TyTy Washington drilled a 3-pointer with 21 seconds remaining to cut the deficit to 81-79, but it wasn’t enough for the win. The Wildcats (26-8), coming off a losing 9-16 season in 2020-21, were looking to get revenge last season and reach a Final Four in the East Regional.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Saint Peter’s, a No. 15 seed, upsets No. 2 Kentucky in a big upset