PU Men’s Basketball Team Advances to Sweet 16
By Bill Alden
Advancing to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1967, the 15th-seeded Princeton University men’s basketball team whipped seventh-seeded Missouri 79-63 in a second-round contest Saturday night in Sacramento, Calif.
Senior guard Ryan Langborg scored a game-high 22 points to pace the Tigers, who jumped out to a 33-26 halftime lead and then reeled off a 13-2 run midway through the second half and cruised to victory. Princeton, now 23-8, will head to the South Regional in Louisville, Ken., where they will face the winner of the second-round game between third-seeded Baylor and sixth-seeded Creighton in the Round of 16 on March 24.
For Princeton head coach Mitch Henderson, a former Tiger standout who helped the program win NCAA first round games in 1996 and 1998, making the Sweet 16 is a literally a dream come true.
“I’ve always dreamed of playing deep into the tournament,” said Henderson, who got 17 points off the bench from sophomore Blake Peters with senior star Tosan Evbuomwan contributing nine points, nine rebounds, and five assists. “As a player, I got to the second round a couple times. Never got beyond it. I feel like for these guys, it’s unbelievable.”
Evbuomwan, for his part, shared Henderson’s sentiments.
“I can’t really put the feeling into words right now, to be honest,” said Evbuomwan. “It’s just an unreal feeling to do this with my guys and my teammates, coaching staff. Like coach said, it’s been a few years in the making, I think. We just have such a close group. We love to work with each other. We love to push each other. It’s showing. Just a group of really tough guys. It’s all coming together at the right time I think.”