Princeton’s dominating win over Missouri has the men’s basketball team preparing for a NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 matchup with No. 6 seed Creighton.
This is Princeton’s first time in the Sweet 16 since 1967.
“This group is really, really confident. We are so thrilled to be going to the Sweet 16,” Princeton Coach Mitch Henderson said. “These guys grit their teeth and do it.”
The No. 15 seed Tigers [23-8] are set to play Creighton Bluejays [23-12] at 9 p.m. March 24 in Louisville, Ky.
“This started for us three years ago. We had a terrific team a year ago, we lost in the championship and could not go to the NCAAs,” Henderson said, adding they could “barely watch the tournament [last year] as they were finding out what they were with a new group.”
Princeton reached the NCAA’s Sweet 16 after a commanding performance against No. 7 seed Missouri that resulted in a 78-63 victory for the Tigers.
“I’ve always dreamed about playing deep in the tournament. As a player, I got to the second round a couple times, but never got beyond it,” Henderson said. “I feel like for these guys, it’s unbelievable.”
The team is the fourth 15-seed in the tournament to reach the Sweet 16.
They follow recent 15-seeds – Saint Peter’s Peacocks in 2022 and Oral Roberts University in 2021 – which makes it three consecutive years that a 15th seed will play in the Sweet 16.
“Obviously, being here is pretty surreal. Coming into this tournament this is what we all wanted,” Senior guard Ryan Langborg said. “We are not done yet. We have a bunch of games left, hopefully.”
He added that they are all so excited and ready for the Sweet 16.
“It is great to represent New Jersey and be able to bring it home for all of the people there,” Langborg said.
Princeton knocked off No. 2 Arizona in the first round of the tournament, followed by a second round victory over No. 7 Missouri to reach the Sweet 16.
“The world looks at it as two upsets, but I keep feeling like we are supposed to be here. We have a lot of confidence in one another and what we are doing,” Senior forward Tosan Evbuomwan said. “There is definitely no let up with this group.”
He noted that Princeton has a really close team.
“We love to work with each, we love to push each other. It is a group of really tough guys, and it is coming together at the right time,” Evbuomwan said.
Princeton punched their ticket to the NCAA Tournament after defeating Yale in the Ivy League Tournament championship game. The team’s Ivy League championship snapped Yale’s three-year title run.