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Sweet 16 winners, losers: Poised Saint Peter’s keeps the dream alive; bye bye grand ten

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The longest streak in NCAA men’s tournament history will continue for at least two more days.

The story of the first weekend after advancing with the upsets of No. 2 Kentucky and No. 7 Murray State, No. 15 Saint Peter’s upset No. 3 Purdue on Friday, becoming the first No. 15 seed in the history of the tournament in reaching the Elite Eight.

The Peacocks will face the winner of No. 8 North Carolina and No. 4 UCLA for a shot at the Final Four.

Purdue’s 67-64 loss as the favorite represents the Boilermakers’ latest postseason nightmare. They only have two Final Four bids in the show’s history, the last one in 1980.

Also on Friday, No. 1 Kansas defeated No. 4 Providence in a 66-61 victory defined by lackluster offense from both teams. Later, No. 10 Miami (Fla.) faced No. 11 Iowa State.

Attention now turns to this weekend’s Elite Eight game slate, beginning with Saturday’s matchups of No. 2 Villanova against No. 5 Houston and No. 2 Duke against No. 4 Arkansas.

The Peacocks, Boilermakers, Jayhawks and others make up Friday’s list of winners and losers:

Saint Peter players celebrate with coach Shaheen Holloway after beating No. 3 Purdue.

WINNERS

Saint Peter

They didn’t stand a chance against Kentucky. He didn’t have what it took to beat Murray State. He had a chance against Purdue, which was nobody’s idea of ​​a giant, but the dream was supposed to die in the Sweet 16. What about the Peacocks? This team takes the lead from coach Shaheen Holloway and plays with poise and composure despite the high stakes in March. As the Boilermakers withered, Saint Peter’s came out of a 56-52 hole and was nearly perfect from the line, shooting 19 of 21 free throws on all eight of his attempts in the final two minutes. It’s possible that this latest surprise is written in the stars, or at least in the calendar. What is March 25? Well, it’s National Peacock Day, of course.

Kansas

Guard Remy Martin scored 22 points and did most of the heavy lifting in the first half as Kansas edged out Providence to make the Elite Eight for the ninth time under coach Bill Self. Martin has led the Jayhawks in points in all three tournament games; he scored 15 points in the win against No. 16 Texas Southern and 20 points against No. 9 Creighton. But this game was on defense and on the boards: Kansas grabbed 43 rebounds, 10 on the offensive end resulting in 17 second-chance points and had 11 blocks.

LOSERS

big ten

There were two Big Ten teams in the Sweet 16. First Michigan and then Purdue packed up, there will be none in the Elite Eight. Nine teams from the Big Ten made it to the tournament, the most of any conference. How the others fared: Rutgers lost in the First Four, Iowa and Indiana lost in the first round, and Michigan State, Ohio State and Illinois lost in the second round.

Purdue

Purdue’s stomach-churning postseason story has its lowest point. This is a program with a strong tournament winning record under coach Matt Painter, who has taken the Boilermakers to at least the Sweet 16 in each of the last five tournaments. But given the size advantage, the talent gap and the team’s favorite status against the underdog Peacocks, this is a loss that will linger at Purdue until the program can break through this ceiling and return to the Final Four for the first time in more than 40 years. .

Providence

After winning 27 games, the Friars’ most in a season since 1974, and reaching the Sweet 16, their first since 1997, Providence earned a shot at the Final Four program’s third offering by shooting just 20% from the field. in the first half. and 32.3% overall against the Jayhawks. However, down just nine points at halftime, the Friars were close enough to take a slim lead, 48-47, with less than six minutes to go. But the offense faltered again, allowing Kansas to clinch the victory despite failing to make a shot from the field in the final three minutes of the game.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: San Pedro strikes again; goodbye, Big Ten: Sweet 16 winners, losers

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