March Madness History: the Saint Peter’s Peacocks

March Madness History: the Saint Peters Peacocks

Oliver Kaminsky '25, Writer

The odds of a 15th seed basketball team making it to the March Madness are almost impossible, h0wever, The Saint Peter’s Peacocks achieved this feat. This school is located about 10 miles away in Jersey City, New Jersey, and is not a traditional college. For starters, it’s a commuter school, and typically the student body is made up of young professionals who are the first generation in their family to go to college. Saint Peters is not a basketball-focused school and has never qualified to compete in March Madness.

Everyone thought that the Peacocks would get destroyed in the first round by the Kentucky Wildcats, however, the Peacocks beat Kentucky University, a huge basketball school. When the Peacocks emerged from their first game of the tournament with a score of 85 – 79 it was a colossal upset in the basketball community and had everyone shocked. In the second round, they were set to play Murray State, a school in Ohio, and were once again favored to lose. Although once again the Peacocks outplayed their opponent and toughed out the victory with a score of 70- 60 and once again left the basketball fans both devoted and casual flabbergasted. The excitement around this Cinderella story of a team kept growing and soon everyone in the nation was behind them. In the 3rd round, the Peacocks played Perdue at their home court in Pennsylvania. At the end of the first half, the score was 29-33, with Purdue in the lead. This could have been the end of St. Peter’s historic run, but they didn’t give up. They finished the nailbiter of a game with a score of 67-64 and the Peacocks were now the first team in their seed to ever make it to the Elite Eight.  Ultimately, their run ended after another tough game versus the University of North Carolina, where the Peacocks fell with a score of 69-49.

This is a historic feat because the Peacocks were a 15 seed. By all expectations, they should not have even qualified for the tournament, let alone succeed as much as they did. No school has ever accomplished the feat Saint Peter’s did, taking a 15-seed and competing in the Elite Eight. The fact that Saint Peter’s is a small not-a-basketball-focused school makes this even cooler. Previously, no one heard about this school or even cared how they did in games. The entire basketball community was in support of the Peacocks, except if they were playing the team you root for.